I met Dr. Jay Davis when he left his job running his accelerator laboratory at Lawrence Livermore (and his occasional stints as a world-roving United Nations nuclear weapons inspector) to come to the Pentagon to become the first Director of the several thousand-person Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
When I was first mentoring young scientists and engineers trembling on the verge of sampling the poisoned chalice of management, I would encourage them to read military history. To me, such histories provide a fine source of case studies of decision making in circumstances of uncertain data, resources, and boundaries. I still believe that. Dave Oliver has gone me one better however. His personal stories show how one must involve one’s values in building a team that performs well not just technically but at high ethical and interpersonal standards, insuring its long term success. In addition, the stories are often hilarious, pulling one through at a fabulous pace. I recommend this great read for anyone building, or rebuilding, a team for high quality performance.”