BY CHAD VINCELETTE
NAVAL AIR STATION OCEANA — During a counseling session when I was a young naval officer, my commanding officer told me that in order to lead a successful organization you have to have a “servant’s mindset.”
At first I was shocked, thinking he meant that all of the people under his command were his servants. In fact, it was just the opposite.
What he meant was that his job as the commander was to serve all of the people who worked for him.
He further explained that morale would be high and his team could focus on the task at hand if he ensured the living conditions on the ship were suitable, the working conditions at sea and at home were satisfactory, the command culture was fair and equitable, and work-life balance was a priority.
By serving his officers and sailors in this way, he enabled them to perform to their potential, which lead to the team’s overall success.
I never forgot his lesson, and it has become the hallmark of my leadership philosophy, whether leading a small group of volunteers or 17 departments at the Navy’s Master Jet Base.
U.S. Navy Capt. Chad P. Vincelette, a native of Virginia Beach, is the commanding officer of Naval Air Station Oceana.
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