A lesson in leadership from the new Navy chief

Admiral Karambir Singh, who assumed command as Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) last month, has put out “elaborate directives aimed at curbing subservient behaviour, restricting certain ceremonial practices and ensuring equality among the ranks.”

The directives vary from the standard of cutlery and the quality of food based on rank to practices that are not official protocol but have acquired the status of protocol — like wives of officers standing up when seniors arrive at a function.

All of the practices sought to be stopped serve to reinforce separation of rank and servitude to the superior in various activities, functions and day-to-day activities of the Indian Navy.

The significance of these changes cannot be overstated. That they came in barely a week after Admiral Singh took over as CNS signals that the navy chief comes in from a clear point of view that abhors undue and unnecessary ceremony and servility associated with hierarchy.  Read More

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