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Old Aug 9, 09, 8:49 am   #61
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Last edited by Bart; Sep 18, 09 at 6:17 pm.
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Old Aug 9, 09, 8:55 am   #62
 
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"The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it."
--Theodore Roosevelt
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Old Aug 9, 09, 9:07 am   #63
 
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Originally Posted by Bart View Post
You know, while I was in the military, all I ever heard was how inefficient it was and how it would never make it in the civilian world. When I retired, I looked at the civilian world with an open mind and found that the opposite is true. Granted, these weren't in-depth studies, but I think I got a good insight into how a couple large corporations did things.

Your anti-military rhetoric aside, there's a lot to learn from the military. It's very mission-oriented and its people are driven towards success. Failure simply isn't an option.

I think TSA behaves very much like a civilian enterprise. That's its problem.
One of the problems with ex military in civilian management roles, especially if they were senior NCOs or officers, is that in the military someone giving you a direct order to a subordinate has a pretty good idea that those orders will be carried out. Going to the civilian side of things a retired senior NCO or officer gives orders and other than the risk of losing a job, may or may not see those orders carried out. The retired senior NCO and officer both lost their positions of authority once they left the military and for some that is hard to handle.

Once worked for a retired colonel who staffed his department management with friends. One of his friends horribly abused those around him. When HR got involved I was called in and asked if a series of allegations by a quitting fellow employee were true. Answered yes. The col asked why I hadn't come to him and responded with "that would have been jumping the chain of command. You would not have approved. You're still the colonel." A month later both the colonel and his abusing friend got laid off.
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Old Aug 9, 09, 9:25 am   #64
 
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Originally Posted by Bart View Post
You know, while I was in the military, all I ever heard was how inefficient it was and how it would never make it in the civilian world. When I retired, I looked at the civilian world with an open mind and found that the opposite is true. Granted, these weren't in-depth studies, but I think I got a good insight into how a couple large corporations did things.

Your anti-military rhetoric aside, there's a lot to learn from the military. It's very mission-oriented and its people are driven towards success. Failure simply isn't an option.
Niether the military nor the civilian world have a monopoly on efficiency or incomptetence. There are good and bad outfits in both, the difference being a bad military outfit costs lives more often.

What's the difference between anti-military rhetoric and pro-military rhetoric ?
Who posts it.

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I think TSA behaves very much like a civilian enterprise. That's its problem.
I rest my case. It doesn't behave enough like a civilian enterprise.
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Old Aug 9, 09, 9:34 am   #65
 
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Originally Posted by Bart View Post
You know, while I was in the military, all I ever heard was how inefficient it was and how it would never make it in the civilian world. When I retired, I looked at the civilian world with an open mind and found that the opposite is true. Granted, these weren't in-depth studies, but I think I got a good insight into how a couple large corporations did things.

Your anti-military rhetoric aside, there's a lot to learn from the military. It's very mission-oriented and its people are driven towards success. Failure simply isn't an option.

I think TSA behaves very much like a civilian enterprise. That's its problem.
Yes and no. I think a blending of the best of both worlds would bring extraordinary results, but unfortunately to date it seems to be the blend of the worst of both. My take on it, anyway.
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Old Aug 9, 09, 9:42 am   #66
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Halls120 has mentioned a report that made recommendations about security initiatives that was dismissed by KHIAI.

I would hope that a copy of this report could be provided to Southers on the QT along with background.

The time to get opposing information to the new guy will be limited. The current staff will surely do everything to push their POV.
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Old Aug 9, 09, 10:04 am   #67
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Old Aug 9, 09, 10:22 am   #68
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Y'know, law dawg, it is frustrating at times how often non-decisions are made around here. Perhaps you're right: it is the worst of both worlds. And I have to admit that perhaps my interpretation of what constitutes a good military leaders is skewed because I was assigned to specialized operational units. We conducted live, no-sh*t, real-world missions, so the BS factor was extremely low when it came to getting things done. Everyone I was affiliated with was a self-starter because we couldn't function with a permission-seeker in our midst.

At any rate, a good leader lets subordinate leaders do their jobs. And that was what prompted this sidebar discussion. I'm certain the same applies in law enforcement circles as well. The on-scene commander, or whatever it is you call the senior officer, has to be able to make the call without the chief of police second-guessing him from behind the desk. This includes situations when an officer screws up. I may not be saying it correctly, but you get the gist of what I mean.
Bart something that I think is key is that most people who move through airports have not served in the military. Many have but even from the draft days of the Vietnam era those people are now in their mid 50's and up. Even those who have left the service don't take kindly to being ordered about.

Encountering a military like atmosphere is foreign to many and not well recieved. People don't want to be treated as a criminal or some kind to lessor person just because they want to get on an airplane. They are not conditioned to respond well to barking orders of some unknow person. That is why the staffing TSA with former LEO and military types and such works against public acceptance. The new hires right out of high school or college have no reference to what should happen in a work place so they take their clues from the older workers. This contributes to the problems of citizens asking questions about what they are being subjected to certain procedures and screeners feeling they are being challenged about their A-Thor-A-TY.

TSA needs a complete overhaul.

People are subjected to uncalled for abusive secondary screenings just for asking questions.

They have permitted property confiscated by poorly trained TSO's.

Constitutional violations occur to often at TSA checkpoints and no effective corrective action is taken to correct this abuses.

Can the new head of TSA make the needed changes?

I don't think so but wish him good luck and I am willing to allow some time to see how he sizes up his new post.

Last edited by Boggie Dog; Aug 9, 09 at 1:50 pm. Reason: do to don't
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Old Aug 9, 09, 12:52 pm   #69
 
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Well, I'm truly surprised to see that from you. A good commander lets the guy on the ground make the decision rather than micromanage from the Ivory Tower.
You're right -- that was my point. More context: A healthy dose of "centralized control; decentralized execution" would go a long way and is sorely needed.

The public sees, for better or for worse, the pointy end of the spear at an airport or, increasingly, at mass transit and bus terminals. Southers really needs to fix a lot of things upstream of an airport: policy and procedures tailored to the threat, clearly delegated responsibility, authority, and expectations of accountability, a sense of vision and context, etc, etc. Individuals who violate the public trust at all levels of his organization need to be dealt with swiftly, fairly, and in a manner which quickly restores the public trust. He needs to be a team player -- with the rest of the national security community, the intelligence community, and private sector stakeholders.

Guys with our background were taught this kind of leadership when we were lieutenants. When we were all young captains at Squadron Officer School, we watched (several times) and studied the three distinct leadership phases of Brig Gen Savage in Twelve O'Clock High when he took over the fictional worst bomber group in WWII. Southers would do well to rent the film and study it.

If Southers does all of this, he will go a long way to earning the public's trust in his leadership and judgment -- something completely lacking from Day One. Kippie bags, gate screening, shoes in or not in bins, screener theft, etc, would take care of themselves.

Then, he can start his second week on the job!
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Old Aug 9, 09, 4:27 pm   #70
 
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Kip Hawley, Idiot only had Pervert and Pederast on his resume and look what happened....
Hmm, could you please enlighten me why Kip is a Pederast please? I must have missed that thread.
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Old Aug 9, 09, 6:47 pm   #71
 
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Y'know, law dawg, it is frustrating at times how often non-decisions are made around here. Perhaps you're right: it is the worst of both worlds. And I have to admit that perhaps my interpretation of what constitutes a good military leaders is skewed because I was assigned to specialized operational units. We conducted live, no-sh*t, real-world missions, so the BS factor was extremely low when it came to getting things done. Everyone I was affiliated with was a self-starter because we couldn't function with a permission-seeker in our midst.

At any rate, a good leader lets subordinate leaders do their jobs. And that was what prompted this sidebar discussion. I'm certain the same applies in law enforcement circles as well. The on-scene commander, or whatever it is you call the senior officer, has to be able to make the call without the chief of police second-guessing him from behind the desk. This includes situations when an officer screws up. I may not be saying it correctly, but you get the gist of what I mean.
I get you.
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Old Aug 9, 09, 10:35 pm   #72
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cf:Hopefully, those days are gone. For ever.
Unfortunately that desire of his is incorporated into law, and so those days are not gone for ever. The groundwork has been legally set -- and not yet been undone -- that allows for just what he too in that Administration wanted. We can "thank" Congress for that too.
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Old Aug 9, 09, 10:43 pm   #73
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Originally Posted by We Will Never Forget View Post
"The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it."
--Theodore Roosevelt
When juxtaposing the above quote with the actual history of how he operated at various points in his lifetime, the above is a case of "practice what I preach but don't usually practice myself" even when succeeding.
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Old Aug 11, 09, 11:04 am   #74
 
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Questions for confirmation hearing

There are some suggested questions for the confirmation hearing here (HTML) or here (PDF).

If you have questions you want your Senator (or the members of the Homeland Security Committee) to ask, let them know.
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Old Aug 11, 09, 12:04 pm   #75
 
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
Encountering a military like atmosphere is foreign to many and not well recieved. People don't want to be treated as a criminal or some kind to lessor person just because they want to get on an airplane. They are not conditioned to respond well to barking orders of some unknow person. That is why the staffing TSA with former LEO and military types and such works against public acceptance. The new hires right out of high school or college have no reference to what should happen in a work place so they take their clues from the older workers. This contributes to the problems of citizens asking questions about what they are being subjected to certain procedures and screeners feeling they are being challenged about their A-Thor-A-TY.
This is a very valid point. I did a paper some years ago about cognitive dissonance at screening checkpoints that addressed this in a different manner. Basically, people just don't know how to react to certain situations as it differs greatly from their accepted norms. For example, many people use the term "barking" to describe a screener giving instructions. To a person of a military/law enforcement background, the manner isn't taken as offensively. It is simply a person speaking in a tone that draws attention to the information they are trying to convey. There is little perception of authoritarianism or hostility. Take someone outside of that realm, where being spoken to in a loud manner is a sign of disrespect or shame and we have the cognitive dissonance. The key is to effectively bridge the communication barrier. How do you relay information in a manner which demonstrates it's pertinence and yet not seem offensive? Figure that out and you might have a job in DC.
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