Strategic Arts & Sciences and the U.S. Navy SEALs

What can a U.S. Navy SEAL teach me about business?

A hell of a lot.

Randy Harrington, Ph.D., Strategic Arts & Sciences CEO, saw the potential of this bizarre marriage years ago. When Harrington began consulting, he built the business on the fundamental principles used by the U.S. Navy SEALs. The Strategic Arts team has been able to apply the lessons, strategies and culture that SEALs use to develop the most elite teams in the world.

One of the fundamental lessons the SEALs teach is that a very small group of people can accomplish a tremendous amount when they are all in alignment, share the same goals and have been trained to work at the highest levels. The biggest problem in American business is that we underestimate what people can accomplish AND what it takes to truly transform a group into a team.

For the past 15 years, Harrington and the Strategic Arts team has worked closely with U.S. Navy SEALs, including retired Navy SEAL Captain Steve Ahlberg. Capt. Ahlberg uses his years of experience and diverse skillsets to work with people across industries to develop leadership and teamwork through experiential learning.

Capt. Ahlberg wants to see people work like the SEAL teams do—as a cohesive unit with a focused purpose. It is about working, moving, and communicating smoothly and interdependently. One of the biggest problems he sees when he walks into a company is that people aren’t talking. By moving past hierarchies and checking egos at the door, people are not only better at problem solving, they are happier and more productive.

To make this possible, Capt. Ahlberg emphasizes the need for “evolutions.” SEALs have figured out how to continuously improve by challenging themselves and each other. They debrief every success and failure, and as it says in the SEAL Team Creed, they are “…never out of the fight.” Evolutions are experiential training situations that put people into new environments and take them outside their day-to-day setting. This change opens up the opportunity to take on new perspectives, try new approaches, and have fun while learning what it takes to be a high performing team. People develop courage in the face of challenges: the courage to speak up, the courage to push through doubt and blame and the courage to be successful.


Steve Ahlberg Bio

Through presentation, discussion, and experiential challenges Captain Ahlberg enables clients to experience and develop the fundamental elements of leadership and teamwork. His 25 year career in “The Teams” is the inspiration for his approach as an instructor and consultant. It will be tough, but it will absolutely help you to routinely meet challenges through vision, strategy, planning, effective communication, and courage.

Captain Ahlberg entered active duty upon receiving a commission in 1972 and in June 1976 was assigned to SEAL Team ONE. Captain Ahlberg’s personal decorations include the Legion of Merit (2), Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (2), Navy Commendation Medal (2), as well as numerous other awards and decorations. In addition to his leadership of Navy SEALS teams worldwide, Captain Ahlberg also earned an MBA and a Master of Science Degree in Strategic Intelligence.