Coast Guard Leadership Philosophy

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Regarding leadership, my Coast Guard (CG) career has been a roller coaster. Since I 've joined in 1998, I 've experienced many ups and downs throughout eight different units; some good leaders and some not so well. I don 't necessarily believe in calling a leader a bad leader since I don 't really recognize them as leaders at all; I don 't follow them or desire to supervise as they do. They 're just bosses. Instead, I try and remember the handful of leaders that I did admire, respected, looked up to, and wanted to model - eventually. Early in my career, I was blessed to have strict and by the book (policy) leaders. Even though they weren 't the most friendly, they planted a seed of professionalism and set a standard of expectations that I had …show more content…
Overall my view on sound leadership comes down to a simple philosophy that I 've experienced and ultimately looked up to and respected enough to try and emulate. This philosophy includes these qualities; in this particular order of importance. First, a great leader must set clear, realistic, and achievable expectations. These need to be laid out in policy and available to all personnel, similar to a CO 's standing orders. Second, the leader must have transparent communication as much as possible, up and down the chain of command. This type of open communication will build trust which will help build honesty which will help establish loyalty. All these characteristics are key to be a successfully leader. Third, a great leader must make a strong effort to form a relationship with each member under his leadership. All members should feel a sincere sense of caring about their morale, safety and well-being. With this, a leader will earn respect and thus a member 's commitment and devotion to duty - to be an effective worker/performer. And lastly, a great leader must lead by example. If a leader says something, try and try again to make it happen. He/she also needs to stand firm on their expectations they 've set when it comes to discipline - but be fair-minded when possible and use good discretion when they can. This will ultimately earn the respect of others and will solidify their integrity. Leadership built using these pieces will be effective and successful; which I 've seen

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