Published 10/29/14

"Job One: Leadership" wraps up with leadership laboratories and wisdom from top U.S. Navy officer

"Job One: Leadership," an eight-month election-year initiative led by Bryant's Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership culminated Oct. 28 with a conference featuring leadership laboratories and a keynote presentation by Vice Admiral Walter E. "Ted" Carter, Jr.

Carter shared three rules for leadership success learned during a career that included flying 125 combat missions in support of joint operations in Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan; commanding air craft carriers; and now serving as superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy:

  • Always tell the truth and create a climate where people are not afraid to tell you what they think. "Somebody should have enough confidence to say: 'Admiral, your baby's ugly.'"
  • Help people understand the concept of loyalty and promote loyalty for the greater good.
  • Establish and frequently calibrate your moral compass.

Carter shared three rules for leadership success learned during a career that included flying 125 combat missions.

Conference attendees — public officials, public employees, leaders from the nonprofit sector, educators, and students— also took part in leadership laboratories taught by Bryant faculty who shared best practices and information about how to apply leadership skills in day-to-day activities.

One session covered crisis management. Professors Richard Holtzman and Christopher Morse presented their participants with a hypothetical situation: parents considering keeping children out of school because they feared exposure to Ebola although there was no evidence of the disease. Participants had to consider the audience and were asked to identify and map the relationships, challenges, resources, pressures, and other variables they would face.

Although it may seem like an onerous duty, Holtzman said, "Speaking to the public and media are really opportunities for leadership."

"Job One: Leadership" was dedicated to helping voters evaluate the leadership ability of candidates seeking public office. The initiative was conducted in partnership with The Providence Journal and Rhode Island PBS 36. It also included: