David Marquet, a US Navy submarine Captain, is known for taking the USS Santa Fe, a nuclear powered submarine, which had a crew ranked dead last in retention and operational standings, to not only first but also receiving the highest inspection rating score ever awarded. As impressive at this is, Marquet’s work with the crew created culture on the USS Santa Fe that allowed it to win awards and see a disproportionate number of officers and enlisted men promoted to positions of increased responsibility, including nine subsequent submarine captains well after his retirement.
Marquet says that he achieved this by putting the crew ‘in control’. In control, Marquet argues can be given to somebody when they have Competence and Clarity. What I found interesting is that Marquet not only links competence and clarity together, but also gives them interesting definitions. Competence he says is asking the question - "Can we?" and Clarity is asking the question - "Should we?" I find it fascinating that Marquet insisted that his crew understood that although they were technically capable of doing something, that they measured this against should they do something.
The ability to temper Can I?, with Should I?, is a foundational and essential skill in living in, contributing to and building a healthy community. Helping students learn to temper Can I? with Should I? is one of the things that we strive to at Bayside. So often when things get messy it is because we have failed to filter what we can do through what we should do. It sounds easy and straightforward but in reality is not. Becoming disciplined enough to take the time to decide if we should or should not do something even though we can takes time and practice for our young people.
My hope is that as students graduate from the College they will be people who do not just have great technical abilities, and intellectual and physical capacity, but are also people who ask, Should I? Furthermore, it is my hope that the question of “Should I?” is asked from a deep understanding that what I should do is informed by God’s story. In other words, as Luke put it so long ago, it is "Not my will, but Yours be done." (Luke 22:42). In this way we can create a culture that will enable our young people to become known as leaders of not only high skill and dedication, but also integrity and compassion.