When Scott Westfahl was a boy, he watched as his father climbed the ranks of the U.S. Navy. Every few years he’d get a new stripe, denoting a new level of leadership and responsibility. Each time, he was put through rigorous training to prepare him for his new role and give him the skills to succeed.

By the time Westfahl’s father was ready to captain his own submarine, the Navy put him through prospective commanding officer school, an intense six-month stretch that taught him about tactics and operations, understanding and guiding strategy and, perhaps most important, how to lead.