Excerpted from Forbes.coms | Click here for full article.

by Bill Reichert

Few civilians have the opportunity to stand atop a nuclear power plant driving 100,000 tons of steel through the ocean. Yet there I was, a Prius-driving, granola-eating, anti-gun, Left Coast Californian, on board one of the world’s largest aircraft carriers, the USS Nimitz, as part of a Navy outreach program designed to give ordinary landlubbers like me a perspective on the mission and operations of a naval strike group.

While I hardly fit the stereotype of the typical armed forces booster (I am inclined to favor green technology over weapons of mass destruction), I discovered during my visit I could learn a lot from understanding how a small city floating on the ocean operates. During the 30 hours I spent observing and conversing with sailors and pilots, I recognized several principles at work that make the Navy so successful. These are not unique to running an aircraft carrier, but represent important lessons for anyone interested in entrepreneurship, innovation, teamwork and management . . .