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"Killer Business: Leadership & Management Lessons from the USS Zumwalt" OC Chapter Mtg


"Killer Business: Leadership & Management Lessons from the USS Zumwalt" OC Chapter Mtg


Killer Business:Leadership & Management Lessons

from the USS Zumwalt



Captain Scott Tait

U.S. Navy 


Captain Scott Tait served as Commanding Officer of the USS Zumwalt from 2016 to November, 2018.  During his tour, the ship transitioned from a pre-commissioned unit at the building yard in Bath, Maine to an operational ship in the Pacific Fleet.   


Zumwalt is arguably the most technologically ambitious project undertaken by any Navy since HMS Dreadnought was launched by the British Royal Navy in 1906.  The ship incorporates a host of new capabilities, operating concepts and a drastically reduced manpower model.  Its radical and innovative design introduced significant tension with the Navy's existing framework of training, certifying, organizing and operating.


Captain Tait will provide a brief overview of the Zumwalt's background and capabilities, then discuss lessons in leadership and management gained from bringing a small, diverse crew and a unique, technologically advanced platform into a Fleet dominated by legacy processes.   


The tools and insights that helped him succeed should be of benefit to anybody leading a fast moving, tech-centric organization in today's dynamic business world. 



Captain Scott Tait was commissioned through the University of Michigan NROTC program in 1992 and qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer in 1994. During his 26 years in the Navy he served in Frigates, Destroyers and Cruisers, specializing in weapons, tactics and operations.  


He commanded USS Mustin (DDG 89), operating from Yokosuka, Japan; and USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), operating from San Diego, California. He deployed widely across the Western and Southern Pacific, South China Sea, Indian Ocean, Middle East, Atlantic and Mediterranean, forward deployed for a total of 17 years.  


Ashore he served on the staffs of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. European Command and Joint Chiefs of Staff where his specialty was strategic planning, politico-military engagement, and innovation.  


He holds Masters Degrees from Stanford University (International Policy) and the U.S. Naval War College (National Security and Strategic Studies).

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