This blog post is the sixth in a series titled “Dialogue with the MCPOCG,” written by Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Steven Cantrell. As the Coast Guard’s senior enlisted leader, Cantrell is responsible for advising the Commandant on workforce issues, and advocating for military benefits and entitlements. He will periodically use this platform to pass information to the Coast Guard workforce.
Every one of us has the capacity to be a leader. Some attain positions of authority and are charged with leading others in the accomplishment of tasks towards a common goal. But, some demonstrate initiative, take charge, or implement change regardless of their rate, rank or position.
Take, for example, the petty officer first class who started a children’s club to introduce kids in her community to the concepts of hard work, responsibility and opportunity. Or, the small group of dependants who spend considerable time giving orientations to our newest members’ loved ones to help their transition from civilian life to military life go as smoothly as possible.
Leadership starts with you – who you are and what you stand for. But, becoming an effective leader requires dedication and patience. Along your leadership journey, you must be humble enough to fail and, when you do, you must be brave enough to try again.
At the start of the New Year, Adm. Zukunft shared his personal leadership fundamentals: Know your purpose; Standards matter; Trust and empower your people; and Take decisive action. The Commandant urged you to draft your own leadership philosophy and I truly hope some of you have taken the time to do so.
Additionally, I have revised Standing Order Two: U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Strategic Framework. In this document, I laid out my mission and vision statements as your Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, as well as guiding principles, for Chief Petty Officers. The framework called for Chiefs to convey compassion, heritage, integrity, expertise and flexibility. I contend these guiding principles of leadership are pertinent to anyone – not just Chiefs.
As an extension of our ongoing conversation about leadership, I’m launching a leadership video contest. I’m really excited to see what people come up with.
Additionally, I hope this project ties into existing leadership discussions at your unit. If you’re not discussing leadership, I hope this project gets you started.
Once again, I look forward to watching what the talented members of our workforce are able to come up with. The submission deadline is March 31, so get filming!
Editor’s note: The 2-page document below contains all the guidelines for participating in the video contest. The panel of judges will be comprised of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard’s staff and command master chiefs assigned to Coast Guard Headquarters. Winners, and their videos, will be announced on All Hands.