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Case Study

1756 words - 8 pages

To 550 Class:
Please write the second 2+ pages of your essay answering the following:
3. What are your personal reactions to Admiral Zumwalt, as an individual and in his professional career? Comment on some of the key workplace issues that come out in this article, i.e., leadership and personal character, reforming large organizations, the tension between action-oriented-risk-takers vs. risk-avoidance-managers who “keep their heads down,” social changes including ethnicity/gender, etc.
4. Compare and contrast the two readings…what are two or three key learning issues about “people at work,” about the management of people and how organizations are run, from BOTH these two real life ...view middle of the document...

Zumwalt
By Larry Berman 
Harper, 507 pages, $29.99
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Harper Collins
Call me 'Bud' Zumwalt laughs as Secretary of the Navy Paul Nitze and Nitze's daughter Ann help fasten his new rear-admiral shoulder boards in 1965.
Zumwalt began his career as a junior naval officer in mid-1943 and witnessed the Battle of Savo Island, in which the U.S. and Australia suffered heavy losses as the campaign to keep Guadalcanal from falling to Japan got under way. A year later, as an officer at Combat Information Center and an evaluator aboard the destroyer USS Robinson, Zumwalt was awarded a Bronze Star for his courage and leadership during the Battle of Surigao Strait, where the Japanese navy attempted unsuccessfully to concentrate its forces and became vulnerable to a trap set by the U.S. Navy.
After the war, Zumwalt commanded a destroyer escort, a destroyer and the Navy's first guided-missile frigate. Following a year as a student at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., he was ordered to the Bureau of Naval Personnel—not usually considered part of an officer's path to greater things. Yet he transformed the Navy's noncommissioned officer assignment system, ending the disproportionate time at sea required of NCOs whose particular skills were in demand aboard the Navy's ships.
Several years later Zumwalt was—this time at his own request—assigned again to the personnel bureau. He saw how African-American surface-warfare officers were routinely sent to dead-end jobs that virtually ended any serious prospect of promotion. He found this career-thwarting system repellent and worked against it. Similarly, he struggled to reverse the Navy's reluctance to pay its doctors at a salary level commensurate with their civilian counterparts, a practice rooted in line officers' notion that doctors' lack of sea duty should be reflected in their pay.
Like many other sailors, Zumwalt saw the stifling results of overgrown staffs, encrusted with layers of paper-shufflers who got in the way of efficiency and decisive action. He was in no position to address this problem systemically but did quite well as a commander of a number of destroyer groups and as an "action officer" in the personnel bureau, learning which staff members mattered and which didn't. The distinction is as important today as when Zumwalt observed, when he was helping implement medical-care programs for personnel and their families, that he had to find "someone who is a doer."
After being promoted to rear admiral in 1965, Zumwalt commanded a cruiser-destroyer flotilla and rose quickly to become the youngest vice admiral in the Navy's history and commander of U.S. Naval Forces, Vietnam. Upon arrival in Saigon in 1968, Zumwalt found a staff that, for the most part, required serious improvement if it was to serve the more aggressive policy of America's new military commander in Vietnam, Gen. Creighton Abrams.
Zumwalt discovered—in the Navy, as in the other services, during the Vietnam War, as...

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