About the Book

About the Book

“There’s a Moose in the Guard Shack”

Didja ever hear ‘bout…, or ya ain’t gonna believe this s*#t, but…

I searched for years for guidance that represented a better approach to solving the day-to-day problems consuming a leader’s time. Eventually, I realized I possessed the answer.

During a staff meeting the light came on; I had experienced situations like the one being discussed—plus many we had previously encountered. I began to use my experience to solve new, but similar problems. Throughout my career in the military and manufacturing, when presented with a troublesome situation, I gathered my staff and direct reports and said: “Guys, let me tell you a story.” I would then relate the facts, details and circumstances from one of my experiences. Then we, as a group, would discuss it and our approach to solving our problem.

“There’s a Moose” is exactly that—stuff happens and stuff gets solved—a common sense approach from my experiences over a career in leadership.

The adventures inside are all true. I know because I was there when they took place and often was the one to whom they took place.

These are just some of those stories, what I learned and what I took away from them.

Lessons Learned

Up and Back and Up Again – Part I An account of people and perseverance under trying circumstances. A one day trip takes two days due to unforeseen complications and the actions of a few bad players.        

People oriented or a mission oriented, which is best?

Be fair where you can.

Skills are important, but talent is often more important.

The more informed subordinates are, the more able they will be to make informed decisions.

Find and/or create an environment where truth is king.

Are you having fun? For my money, having a good time has to be at the top of the list.

Always consider yourself for recognition.

Feedback is always important.

Up and Back and Up Again – Part II A continuation of “Up and Back”

Perseverance has a great deal to do with success.

Never second-guess the guy on the ground.

Cycles in personnel/training/actions/etc. happen.

Pay attention to the fixed things.

What is important to you?

Think you have out of control personnel turn-over rates.

Have a good time!

Tommy’s Moose Terror and steps to abate. Late at night on a lonely guard post with an unscheduled visitor and the excitement that visitor created.

All people have preconceived attitudes, beliefs and values

Managers can change beliefs very little

Train skills to hold off undesirable beliefs

Nenana – Two Shorts and a Long When brains are not engaged. An experienced handler/driver makes a small mistake and feels the brunt of it.

Information and communication

Human Skills and understanding

Technical Skills

Technical skills should be verified

Interview practices should be developed

Conceptual Skills

Conceptual talent may often be the more important aspect of a manager or supervisor’s tool kit

Information and Communication

Human Skills and Understanding

Technical Skills

Technical Skills Should be Verified

Interview Practices Should Be Deliberate and Consistent

Conceptual Skills

Conceptual Talent May Be the More Important Aspect of a Manager or Supervisor’s Tool-kit.

Mess Hall Cups – It’s just a flippin’ coffee cup! Simple but next to impossible. When things almost get real crazy – almost.

Consider the value of good communications and the cost of bad communications.

The importance of Organization and Command and Control structure

Get it right the first time.

The different types and forms of Communication

Formal meetings

Stand-up meetings

Information gathering/Impromptu meetings

Spoken word





The opportunity to effect organizational structure.

They came from outta the sky! (The Great Ping-Pong Ball Drop) When lack of a good plan becomes evident. What do you do if you have the market cornered?

Observe what’s going on

Planning takes details, details, details and practice, practice, practice.

To Jack’s House – Part I Travel, confrontation, and things that shouldn’t go bump often do.

Responsibility, in general, is the obligation to execute all of your assigned duties, both as assigned and implied, to the best of your ability.

Accountability is the obligation possessed inherently by an individual to answer for actions taken and decisions made.

Authority is the right to give orders and instructions to others.

Power is the ability to influence others so they will respond favorably to the orders and instructions that they receive.

To Jack’s House – Part II A continuation of “To Jack’s House”

Who makes the decision?

Precedence is important for stability over the long haul.

Beware of being the New Guy and its inevitable pitfalls.

Back from Jack’s House – Part I Getting back home again.

Matching available clout with the presented obstacle

Back from Jack’s House – Part II A continuation of “Back from Jack’s House”

Improve your value to the organization.

Determine the Personality of your organization: Authority or Power?

Document the organization, authority and responsibilities.

Provide for outside training where possible.

Plan for contingencies whenever possible.

Hurricane Heaters (& Practice in Combat Parking) Authority and the lack of use thereof. How do you correct inaction when it shouldn’t have happened?

More on Authority, responsibility and accountability

Fitz and His Spare Tire People are individuals and just might always be thinking and listening. The study of those around you and what you can learn.

Think like Fitz —think like they think

Repeat the instructions; not word-for-word, but in the receiver’s own words.

Develop the understanding of your employees thought processes.

Prepare a Personal skills inventory on yourself and those that work for you.

Mentoring belongs in the daily process.

Integrity, lead by example and principles must be paramount.

The Doors Blew Open Almost a bad situation and reactions to it. Excitement can happen even at great distance.

Remain cool when all others aren’t

Improve your ability wherever possible

Role play


Let Me Tell Ya ‘bout Cold How tough can you be? Put yourself in the situation and see what you would do?

Common sense

Differentiate between major and minor victories; but remember, they are both victories.

You can take it!

Found a Bomb – We’re gettin’ outta Dodge! Organizations and the ability to react. The selection of the players is of prime importance.

Chain of command

Organizational structure

Job knowledge

Training status

Review (evaluation) process.

Kick it to the Can – Coaching the Cosmos Putting kids in the game. Luck can play a big part, but so can skill.

Match requirements with employee talents.

Every individual has different motivational factors; tailor your approach.

Understand you competition and what ticks them off; take advantage of it when needed.

Improve over time.

Walkabout Aggressors Being involved and keeping them involved and ready. Bad times can be good times – just work at it.

Be in contact.

Counsel one-on-one.

Lead the group.

Routinely read the vine.

Have FUN, it’s important.

Facilitate camaraderie.