Improving Leadership Through Stories

September 16, 2009
By Katie Packard

Storytelling can be a powerful communication tool, and it is one that Andrew O'Keefe uses in his novel The Boss to show people how to be a better manager. The book's protagonist, Lauren, tries to succeed at her job as a marketing professional while under the leadership of a team of terrible bosses.

O'Keefe has more than 25 years of human resources experience, including a decade as an HR executive at IBM. After years of hearing nightmare stories about awful bosses, he decided to put those stories to good use and wrote his novel.

"I hope managers can read my book to see mistakes and to learn how to improve. It was written very much with bosses in mind. 'Do I do some of the things Lauren's bosses do?' I hope managers realize the impact people have as a boss and how they might choose to do something differently."

He suggests that employees who show leadership potential receive management training early on to develop their skills. O'Keefe believes that managers who truly enjoy interacting with people will succeed and that senior management should create a "doable job" to which managers are held accountable.

You can read more of his tips for grooming successful managers in "Who Bosses the Bosses?" from this month's SIGNAL Connections. We at SIGNAL Scape also invite you to share your best practices for good leadership here. What qualities do you think make someone a good boss? What have you learned during your experience as a manager?

Sypris Awarded Multiyear Naval Contract

September 16, 2009
By Katie Packard

Sypris Electronics LLC, a subsidiary of Sypris Solutions Incorporated, has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic for its Model 101e data recording systems. The three-year contract has a ceiling of approximately $10.5 million if all options are exercised.

Army Innovation on the Edge

September 17, 2009
By H. Mosher

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson, USA, chief information officer (CIO)/G-6 policy, and Maj. Gen. Nickolas Justice, USA, program executive officer, Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T), had a lot to say about innovation in the U.S. Army at the Gov 2.0 Summit last week.

Panel moderator Dr. Linton Wells, Transformation Chair and distinguished research professor at National Defense University, asked them why pursue innovation on the edge. Gen. Sorenson took the opportunity to explain challenges faced by the military in today's enviroment. "If you look at warfare today, it has dramatically changed from when your father or grandfather fought it," he said. "We have to function in environments that are asymmetrical, where the enemy is not in uniform and may be in front, behind, around you." He made a distinction between strategic operations and tactical operations but noted that the two are no longer separate. "You now have tactical forces doing strategic operations," he explained. "They have to have the best situational awareness at that front edge. The only way to do that is to make sure that data [they need to complete the mission] is available accessible and accurate."

Gen. Justice had a different perspective on why innovation matters most on the front line. "It's all about money," he said. "If I can get my warfighters to solve my problems for me, then I don't have to go back to the Pentagon to ask for the money to address these capabilities."

Gen. Sorenson said that in his experience, he'd run across soldiers with intuitions or experience to discern what was needed. When that happens, he continued, "You get some magic." He is always astonished to find that warfighters are "using systems in ways that were never imagined when we wrote the requirements for it."

DRC Awarded $3.7 Million Program Management Task Order With TSA

September 16, 2009
By Katie Packard

Dynamics Research Corporation (DRC) has been awarded a task order with an estimated value of $3.7 million with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). DRC will provide project and program management support to the TSA's National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program, which deters and detects the introduction of explosives devices into the transportation system.

Coast Guard Ponders Unmanned Eyes, Intel Capabilities

September 14, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

The U.S. Coast Guard is taking steps to enhance its command, control, intelligence and reconnaissance capabilities with new unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and network-centric systems for its ships. At a press briefing late last week, RAdm. Ronald J. Robago, USCG, the service's new assistant commandant for acquisitions, discussed steps being taken to evaluate and select a new shipboard UAS.