Admiral Hyman Rickover personally revolutionized naval warfare and
altered the outcome of the Cold War. Concurrently he drove
innovation into American industry -- which in the decades since has
proven to be a wellspring of power for American technology. As a
touchstone of his success, during Rickover's stewardship the
Russians had literally dozens of reactor accidents, but Rickover's
single-minded focus on safety protected Americans as well as and
our lands from nuclear contamination.
Rickover did all of this initially by the force of his own
personality and eventually by insisting on radical culture change.
The author had the good fortune to personally know and be involved
with Admiral Rickover as well as many of the most interesting
players and protagonists during much of this thirty year process of
wrenching cultural upheaval. The author leaves detailed
biographical details of Rickover to others, instead focusing on
previously unknown historical events in which he personally
participated or had unique knowledge which highlight the management
and leadership principles behind Rickover's achievements and place
important events (President Eisenhower choosing nuclear submarines
to counter Sputnik, development of the Polaris Fleet, the
relationship of Admirals Zumwalt and Rickover, the loss of USS
"Scorpion," the superiority of the American submarines over the
Soviet fleet, etc.) in an historical perspective.
Because of his life's work, the author is uniquely qualified to
apply many of Rickover's principles to other situations. For
example, Dave well understands the particular navy culture Rickover
had to destroy for the author began his own career on a diesel
boat. Similarly since the author spent a decade in US industry as
either the Chief Executive Officer or the Chief Operating Officer,
he understands how to identify situations where Rickover's
principles can be applied to industry circumstances. This is done
at the end of each chapter in the book, thus providing a starting
point for any who wish to use this source for case studies.
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