Admiral Ray Smith | Rear Admiral, US Navy (Ret.) Leadership and Peak Performance Expert

Admiral Ray Smith

Rear Admiral, US Navy (Ret.) Leadership and Peak Performance Expert

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San Diego, CA, United States

Admiral Ray Smith

Widely regarded as one of the Navy's most inspirational leaders, Rear Admiral Smith has spoken extensively on his leadership experiences to a wide range of audiences including corporate, political, military and civic leaders. A Navy SEAL for 31 years, he achieved extraordinary success through focused, participatory leadership. During his four-year tenure as Commander of the 2300-men SEAL force, he raised personnel retention to a level three times the Navy average. As a Navy Captain, he led the Navy SEALs in Operation Desert Storm, conducting over 200 operations of strategic significance while incurring no casualties. Earlier in his career, Admiral Smith directed Navy SEAL training, generally considered to be the most challenging military training in the world.Admiral Smith has been recognized in Newsweek, Fortune, Reader's Digest and on the Discovery Channel, the History Channel and "CBS This Morning." He published two highly successful Navy SEAL manuals, one on nutrition and one on fitness. He was awarded the California Distinguished Service Award while a member of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.Admiral Smith was responsible for developing the Navy's first capability-based assessment process. He led 100 systems analysts in providing service-level recommendations directly to the Chief of Navel Operations. Incorporating computer modeling and risk assessment, he provided Navy leadership with $36 billion in analysis-based savings over a six-year period.The Human Performance Institute is the leader in Energy Management technology. Managing energy, not time, is the key to sustained high performance. The Institute's ground-breaking Energy for Performance training solutions range from executive and on-site training courses to keynotes and train-the-trainer courses. Corporate clients include Dell, FBI, GlaxoSmithKline, PepsiCo, Procter&Gamble and Smith Barney Citigroup.Admiral Smith holds a Master of Science degree in Physical Oceanography from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Admiral Smith successfully completed the 350-mile Beast of the East Adventure Race in 1998 and 1999, finishing with his three Navy SEAL teammates in 9th place out of 34 teams.

Admiral Ray Smith
Featured Keynote Program

Speech With Kim's Game

(This is an option in addition to the keynote).

This is a teambuilding game normally done with two people per team, although I have had up to ten per team. It is similar to what I am currently doing with the new SEAL officers. I NORMALLY CONDUCT THE KIM’S GAME BEFORE MY SPEECH. At the end of my speech, I announce the results with “discussion” of each team’s successes and failures. Obviously, it is meant to be light hearted, but senior leaders are very competitive! THE POINT OF THE GAME IS TO IMPROVE A SEAL’S ABILITY TO THINK COHERENTLY WHILE UNDER A HIGH LEVEL OF PHYSICAL STRESS

It involves organizing each team into two members or whatever larger size is needed. Once this is done, I brief the teams on the game. The concept involves a physical competition and a memory competition. Depending on the fitness of the teams, it ranges from running, to walking, to hiking to calisthenics, to canoeing, to pushups, to situps, to shuffle board, ad nauseam. The event goes as follows:

Once the teams are organized, I designate one member of each team as “Team member A” and Team Member B. At that point, all “Team members A” are simultaneously shown 15-20 items and given four minutes to identify and memorize the items. The items are laid out so that each “A” competitor can see them. They are allowed to touch, etc. NO talking is allowed because the ‘A’ team members are competing against each other. When the time is up, they rejoin their partners. At this point, the teams are briefed on the physical event and are told they will get points for how quickly the physical event is completed and how thoroughly team member ‘A’ has passed his observations on to his team members during the physical event. At the end of the physical event, one of the B or C team members from each team is selected to write down all the items he/she can recall and as much information/detail about each item as he/she remembers.

I usually add in a totally unrelated word problem before member B/C/D writes down the items. This often results in teams forgetting the prime reason for the game, ie, identifying the items!

The concept involves team work and working at a common level during the physical event. Some teams will work hard to finish the physical event first, but have very little information to present to the grader. Others realize that the product is more important than how quickly it is done. I skew the grading to reinforce the idea that working too fast and providing one’s boss with an inferior product is not going to win any competition. Rather, a team which takes a little more time and delivers an accurate and in-depth product is what a boss expects.

I have spoken to and conducted Kim’s Games with 20 YPO members from their NYC chapter, YPO chapters in Connecticut and Oklahoma City, the senior leadership of GE, PIMCO, Direct TV, and the senior leadership and entire sales force leadership of Stryker Corp. I recently conducted this event with the Monmouth University football team. It is extremely popular!

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Admiral Ray Smith

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