Sean Heritage

Connecting The Dots

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Premortems, Hindsight & Regret

When it comes to making important decisions, I have grown to see great value in writing a premortem. The below excerpt describing a premortem comes courtesy of the Harvard Business Review: “A premortem is the hypothetical opposite of a postmortem. A… Continue Reading →

Self-Approval

As life goes on, I find that I continue to place an increased emphasis on self-satisfaction than I do on earning the approval of others. I started life completely on the other end of the spectrum and as I spend… Continue Reading →

Progress: More Than What You See

Last Friday, we held our monthly All Hands event. Given the distributed and constant focus on mission execution nature of our team, we commit to coming together once a month to communicate priorities, provide updates on progress, introduce new members… Continue Reading →

Last(ing) Impressions

It is said that we never get a second chance to make a first impression. Though I agree that first impressions are vitally important to the framing of a relationship, establishing rapport, and setting the tone for an experience, it’s… Continue Reading →

Psychic Income

I continue to live in a world where monetary income is predicated by a combination of one’s rank and longevity. Some might say that contributions, expertise, and commitment to the team inform one’s rank and length of service over time and… Continue Reading →

Hard Right Rudder

I sincerely appreciate mentors who have and continue to invest in me. Even more than that, I appreciate the opportunity to invest in protégés. As I continue to provide counsel to others, I have ceased being surprised when a protégé… Continue Reading →

A Gallon of Play

Three days ago, I entered the 27th year of this amazing Navy journey (31st if we were to consider my time at the US Naval Academy). That milestone, coupled with the fact that I am seeing my Shipmates retire at… Continue Reading →

Company We Keep

It is said that we are the company we keep. Recent events have given me the opportunity to truly evaluate who that makes me. My parents made the company my brother and I would keep a priority of theirs from… Continue Reading →

Documenting Reality

It is said that perception is reality. I believe it is more accurate to say that my perception is my reality, your perception is your reality, and when it comes down to it…perceptions matter more than reality. Unless, of course,… Continue Reading →

Too Busy for Me

The last few months at work have been a whirlwind of activity. Some of the activity has generated progress, much of the activity is setting the conditions for future progress, and all of the activity continues to prove to be… Continue Reading →

It’s Not About the Board

Two weeks ago, we took our first real family adventure since moving to California last August. I am not proud of the fact that it took us eight months to make it happen. Between my son’s school and commitment to… Continue Reading →

Big Rocks, Little Rocks, and Broken Windows

Odds are that if you are reading this, you are familiar with the term Big Rocks. If you are not, I recommend you watch this video from Stephen Covey. Dr. Covey does a great job of reminding us that it’s important to… Continue Reading →

Defaulting to Dissent

The best teams I have been on have been teams where dissent was invited, opportunities to dissent were created, and gratitude was expressed to those who cared enough to dissent. To dissent is to “hold or express opinions that are at… Continue Reading →

Can’t Do Lists

Our military was founded on a “Can Do” spirit. Heck, our Nation was founded on the same. We proudly find ways to do more with less and we feel a bit lesser when we fall short. At the same time,… Continue Reading →

The Worrier

Last week, my wife and I took advantage of the free time created by a lack swim practice since our son was at the Olympic Training Center with his teammates. Not having the tether that is daily trips to and… Continue Reading →

Valued and Dispensable

I have found that the best leaders with whom I serve find a way to make themselves simultaneously valued and dispensable. A dichotomy indeed. The people and things we value most are not what we think of as easily replaceable… Continue Reading →

(Un)Comfortably Falling Short

It was about this time (beginning of 4th month on the team) in my last tour when I had a couple of teammates make it a point to tell me that they were definitely being stretched in their jobs. As… Continue Reading →

Empathetic Advice

I enjoy learning from others and at the same time I enjoy sharing what I learn with others. Most of the time this transaction is asynchronous and simplex in nature. Last night I did some reading, receiving knowledge from another… Continue Reading →

What Jar Are You In?

We often assess others by the answers they provide. Those who have the right answers must be the most knowledgeable. We often assess companies based on the mission that drives them and their ability to deliver on it. Those who… Continue Reading →

The Quest to be Good

It was a drive like so many others: My son and I driving through the heart of Silicon Valley to his swim practice. My wife or I make that trip six days a week and sometimes twice a day. No… Continue Reading →

Enjoyment Enablers

Enjoyment is the state of process of taking pleasure in something. It is also defined as the action of possessing and benefitting from something. Of late, I am increasingly reminded that some people in this world are very focused on and… Continue Reading →

Shaping Memories

It’s that time again. Time for the family to pack up our bags, bid farewell to local friends and teammates, and embrace the nomadic life we live. I am not complaining one bit. Moving every 2-3 years continues to provide… Continue Reading →

Responsible Friction

The health of an organization can often time be measured by the friction within. Friction is defined as (a) the rubbing of one body against another, (b) the force that resists relative motion between two bodies in contact, and (c) the clashing… Continue Reading →

Degrees of Gratitude

Think about the number of times you had reason to say, “You are welcome” over the last week. Would you say that it was 1 time, 10 times, 50 times, more? Now, think about what prompted you to say it… Continue Reading →

Make it Personal

Over the last couple of days, I have been tracking the National Football League’s (NFL) Draft from afar. It’s not that I am fanatical about any particular team or the NFL as a whole, I am always intrigued by the… Continue Reading →

Changing Lanes

At the end of my son’s most recent swim practice, he approached the car with a big grin, which is not his typical post-practice body language. Before I even had a chance to ask him how practice went, he proudly announced,… Continue Reading →

Disneyland Mindset

Do you remember the first time you went to Disneyland, Disneyworld, or any amusement park for that matter? Given that I was six the first time I went, I don’t think I have any accurate memories of that experience. But… Continue Reading →

Doing What We Want

Want: have a desire to possess or do (something); wish for. Should: used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness. What do you want to do? What should you do? When the answers to those questions are not aligned, which trumps which?… Continue Reading →

Engaging “The Others”

People who are truly committed to their profession, their team, and their potential tend to have little trouble bouncing out of bed, giving their best, and end the day satisfied with the effort. We may not always be thrilled about… Continue Reading →

Shelf Life

Open your refrigerator or go into your pantry and take an inventory of all the products with an expiration date on them. Now check out any produce you have on the counter and assess how much longer they might be… Continue Reading →

The Tenured Team

I am not an academic, but I feel as though I long ago reached the point of having tenure as a Naval Officer. Generally speaking, tenure is the right to hold a position for as long as you want to… Continue Reading →

Bubbles

Bubbles make me smile. I enjoy blowing them every now and then. I like to see how big I can make them before they pop. It’s neat to see how far those bubbles that stay intact can fly before the… Continue Reading →

Green Lights

Last week, my wife and I made a quick trip to Annapolis, Maryland to attend a Navy ceremony. And by quick trip, I mean that we were there for all of 15 hours. Once the ceremony concluded, we enjoyed a quick… Continue Reading →

Cautiously Bold

I am the first to admit that as time goes on, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for me to be patient. In my professional life, that is far more true than in my personal life. That is likely the case… Continue Reading →

Long-Term Stewardship

It’s no secret that we live in a world where immediate gratification is a growing priority. We want to see results now. Whether it is wins on the athletic field, profitability on our bottom line, or the delivery of our… Continue Reading →

The Meaningful Threshold

During my first week in command, I hosted a Command Quarters where I had the opportunity to celebrate some of the talent across the team by awarding various forms of recognition. And because it was my first time in front… Continue Reading →

Newport to Remember

It happened again, the Navy sent me to Newport, Rhode Island. They’ve been doing that every 3-5 years since I was commissioned. Those of you who have visited Newport will likely agree that it is an absolutely beautiful place. But when… Continue Reading →

What Will You Command?

Even at the earliest stages in our career, Naval Officers are taught that we should aspire to Command. Joint Pub 1-02 defines Command as… The authority that a Commander in the Military Service lawfully exercises over subordinates by virtue of rank or… Continue Reading →

For the Last Time…

I love flipping the script on others and I thoroughly enjoy it when others do the same for me. Those of you who follow this blog have noticed that I am experimenting with a “Question of the Day” each weekday…. Continue Reading →

THINKers

Having recently had an opportunity to engage with some esteemed academic leaders, I must admit that I am simultaneously envious and grateful. Envious of their opportunity to be a professional THINKer and grateful for the things about which I am… Continue Reading →

Opportunities Realized

I know that I am far from alone in my sincere belief that life is one giant opportunity.  Whether we care to admit it or not, we all miss more opportunities than we realize…it’s just math.  The key is to minimize the… Continue Reading →

Declaration of Interdependence

We recently celebrated our Nation’s independence last week on the 4th of July. It was a glorious celebration that should remind even the unpatriotic of how fortunate we are to enjoy the freedoms that we do. I took the opportunity to… Continue Reading →

Loyalty Down

Loyalty is among the most valued characteristics between friends, family, teammates, and co-workers. In fact, I submit that a relationship is virtually meaningless without it. Each of us wants to know that we can count on others when we need… Continue Reading →

Midlife Certainty

The term “midlife crisis” became part of our vocabulary in the mid-1960s as a means of describing a time in life where adults begin to truly realize that we are mortal and that our life may be more than halfway… Continue Reading →

Genuine Conversations

The basis for this post is an e-mail I sent to the team with whom I currently lead. Until recently, we had not made team-building a deliberate focus; we had not made standard enforcement a priority; we had not allowed… Continue Reading →

Opportunities To Fail

It might sound odd, but I will go ahead and admit that I sometimes enjoy watching others struggle, and the highest highs I continue to enjoy in life are experienced on the back end of a personal struggle. I will… Continue Reading →

Gratitude Ceremonies

Spring has sprung and summer is near. The change in weather signals many things to many people and I am finding that with each year that passes this is the season of retirement ceremonies. Last Friday, two of my valued… Continue Reading →

Influencing Lurkers

The value of a meeting is sometimes measured by the side-conversations that accompany it. The quality of a speaker’s talk might be assessed by the number of questions it inspires. The interest in a particular blog post could be gauged by… Continue Reading →

Be Safe? No, Be Smart!

I hear it all too often, but you won’t hear me say it…”Be safe!” We hear parents tell their children before they head out for the day to “Be Safe”, we hear seniors remind Sailors before a long weekend to… Continue Reading →

Try, and Mean It!

I have had the pleasure of spending lots of time with my wife and son during this transition period.  We’ve played, we’ve worked, we’ve explored, we’ve traveled, we’ve tried new things, and yes we’ve made mistakes.  I don’t know that… Continue Reading →

Finish Strong

During a recent command physical training session, I had the pleasure of running with one of our many talented young Sailors. As I grow older my definition of young changes and in this case I mean 19 years old (he… Continue Reading →

Workplace Culture: Google and the Military

It is no secret that Google enjoys a unique corporate culture. Last week, as part of the Information Dominance Corps Senior Leadership Seminar, I had the privilege of witnessing it first hand. The uniqueness is in the extremity with which… Continue Reading →

Mid-Life Crisis…Not Here (at Least Not Yet)

As I was enjoying the last weekend prior to my 40th Birthday, I started to contemplate the idea of the stereotypical “Mid-Life Crisis” that some “grown men” express by buying sports cars or chasing after younger women. I then picked… Continue Reading →

Because All Goals Require a Team Effort…

I am in the process of meeting individually with each of the 150+ members of our team to discuss their personal goals, among other things. Given the high caliber of person the Navy continues to attract and the fact that… Continue Reading →

Empathy, Personal Connection and Effective Communication

Over the years, I have been guilty of incorrectly using the terms sympathy and empathy. Empathy – The ability to co-experience and relate to the thoughts, emotions, or experience of another without them being communicated directly by the individual. Sympathy… Continue Reading →

The Beginning, The End and The Journey Connecting Them

It doesn’t necessarily take personally witnessing death to realize how short life truly is. In fact, death needn’t be involved at all to be reminded how quickly things come to an end. Last month I was in Great Lakes and… Continue Reading →

Command Leadership School Takeaways

Over the last two weeks, I had the pleasure of attending the Command Leadership School in Newport, RI. The purpose of the two weeks was to help those of us fortunate enough to be selected to be Commanding Officers think… Continue Reading →

Menteeship

The Navy has been focused on mentorship for longer than I can remember. We have witnessed forced mentorship, where mentors are formally assigned to individuals. We have seen models where mentorship opportunities are facilitated, as we let relationships take shape… Continue Reading →

Letter to Me

It’s spring and with it comes nice weather, baseball and much happiness for those of us not fond of winter. Those of us in the Navy also recognize it as the season of promotion board results. Last week, many good… Continue Reading →

Life: A Succession of Plan Bs

In my readings of late, I have seen time and time again that the most successful business plans are executed as they were originally intended. In each instance, there was a Plan A, but the business that actually made it… Continue Reading →

The Whole Person

Over the past few weeks, I have had varied involvement in two selection boards considering a large number of applicants desiring to serve in our Navy. In the process, our prime directive has become “The Whole-Person Concept.” That model is… Continue Reading →

Big Team, Little Me

“We can accomplish anything provided no one cares who gets the credit.” – (then) CDR Joseph Rochefort In my current job as Information Dominance Corps and Information Warfare Officer Community Manager (OCM), I serve on a team of four uniformed… Continue Reading →

Trail of Gratitude

There are many things in life for which I am extremely grateful. When I consider each and every blessing, I see a trail of gratitude lined by others who continue to contribute to my good fortune whether they know it… Continue Reading →

Choosing Happiness

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to participate in the retirement ceremony of a friend, mentor, and shipmate by the name of Commander Scott Fields. Scott is a wonderful man who is generous, sincere and caring among many other positive attributes. Yesterday,… Continue Reading →

Making the Time or Taking the Time…It’s Our Call

After a recent meeting, I was thanked for TAKING the time to participate. This was not the first time I have heard someone use that phrase to express such gratitude, though each time I hear it, I leave the conversation… Continue Reading →

“Wait Till Your Father Gets Home”

As a child, I rarely heard my mother make the statement, “Wait till your father gets home.” When she did, it was a request for us to demonstrate some patience before doing something we were eager to do. It was… Continue Reading →

Firefighters

As a native of California, fires were a constant on the evening news during the summer season. I remember on many occasions local firefighters traveling long distances to help the cause well outside their assigned jurisdiction. Though neither lives nor… Continue Reading →

Executing as a Team

I have but a few passions in life and at the top of my list is doing just about anything with my son. For this reason, I proudly assume the role of Soccer Coach on a reoccurring basis. Our most… Continue Reading →

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