Essay On Coast Guard Leadership

1093 Words 5 Pages
1. “You leading others to achieve a goal” is how the Coast Guard defines leadership. My personal definition adds to those concise words only by acknowledging that the quality with which one leads is vital. A goal can be achieved with brute force or with finesse. I define leadership as: “You leading others to achieve a goal in a refined manner”. Throughout my 23 years in the Coast Guard, I have been exposed to a wide range of leadership styles and philosophies. Some leaders demonstrated great interest in the well being of their people. Some showed indifference to those who came to them with personal issues. Some leaders displayed a calm demeanor when challenged. Others let the stresses of their jobs ruin their mood and affect their rapport with people. The best leaders I’ve had called me out on my deficiencies, challenged me to do better, stayed cool at all times, and practiced what they preached.

2. The Coast Guard expects leaders to influence their people to accomplish our missions. A leader must sometimes tell their people they have to work longer hours, not go on leave, stand more duty, or deploy away from home. A refined leader delivers bad news
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Feedback is an essential part of gauging how I am performing as a leader. I’ve found it challenging to solicit and receive feedback in the past. I will improve my feedback process by implementing an anonymous feedback program, similar to what many safety departments use throughout the Coast Guard. The ability for my people to submit feedback on my performance anonymously will require me to be prepared for very raw and blunt feedback, but will give me valuable insight into any frustrations my people are experiencing. My Chiefs and I hold monthly off-site meetings (Chiefs’ breakfasts) to discuss any business for the good of the Mess. I will designate a block of time within that breakfast to formally discuss any “plusses or deltas” my Chiefs would like to offer for integration into my personal operating

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