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NSWCPD Kicks Off Leadership and Innovation Speakers Series

By Keegan Rammel, NSWCPD Public Affairs | NSWCPD | Jan. 29, 2020

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD) kicked off the Command’s 2020 Leadership and Innovation Speaker Series season with keynote speaker Pat Tamburrino, Jr., Vice President, Health and Civilian Market, Logistics Management Institute.

NSWCPD started the Leadership and Innovation Speaker Series to host government and industry leaders whose experiences and insights can bring new ideas to the workforce. Keynote speakers focus on leadership, innovation, management, teamwork and excellence in the workplace.

“If you are interested in what experiences you need to have to move into a leadership role and what type of experiences you’ll get from those roles, then this is the place for you,” said Tom Perotti, NSWCPD’s Technical Director, during his command welcome remarks.

Tamburrino, a retired member of the Senior Executive Service (SES), drew from his experiences, from his time as an officer in the Navy to his final role as the chief of staff for the Undersecretary of the Defense for Personnel and Readiness, when sharing his insights on how to be an effective leader.

“The most important aspect of a leader is the ability to make a decision,” Tamburrino said.

Tamburrino explained that the best leaders are able to make a decision before they have all the facts. He believes the best leaders know how to work in the “gray area.”

“I don’t think there is a single problem that I face day to day that I have perfect information on,” Tamburrino said. “Whatever facts I have I use. Your objective is to operate on the facts at hand. Take comfort that perfection is hard to come by and if you wait for it often it isn’t much better.”

He believes that the best leaders give their teams an objective and then lets them decide how to achieve it. Tamburrino encouraged the leaders in the audience to let their teams make mistakes on their own.

“You must promote prudent risk-taking,” he said. “You have to trust and empower your team.”

The final piece of advice Tamburrino had for leaders was to make sure that they were happy with the decisions that they were making. Not only should they be making decisions they agree with, but decisions that are ethical and moral.

“If a decision is going to keep you up at night, or if you know you are going to have to explain it to your wife or mother, it probably isn’t a good decision,” Tamburrino said.

NSWCPD employs approximately 2,700 civilian engineers, scientists, technicians, and support personnel doing research and development, test and evaluation, acquisition support, and in-service logistics engineering for Navy ships. NSWCPD is also the lead organization providing cybersecurity for all ship systems.