Have You Learned Your 3 “C’s” Today!

Have You Learned Your 3 “C’s” Today!

Leadership takes courage, competence and confidence is what I learned in my military career. In high school, one of my teachers used to always tell me that I had to get leadership skills which I used to just laugh  off because as a student I just wanted to make sure my group projects were done in a timely fashion and right, without too much thought. I would have been happy take a leadership role if for no other reason to make sure everyone did their work in group projects. During my selfish school time, I never understood what leadership meant until I joined the military because in Basic Training it was one of the many things  that were taught and reinforced throughout my military career. At times, I questioned my U.S. Navy Supervisor who once said that being a leader was about making a decision that was difficult because you had to put work first, then a friendship for the well-being of the ship’s crew.

It was during my military career, that I learned how to be more confident with myself which has  helped me enhance my leadership skills because I tended  to be in my comfort zone and did not do anything unless I had to do it or was told do it. However, I learned quickly that this is not the way to go if I wanted to succeed in life. I decided to get more involved, eager to learn new things and help others when they needed help. Also, some of the military training and exercises required me to be confident because of the dangerous work I performed. In addition to being confident I had to be proficient in my job duties because I had to ensure the safety of myself and others. Learning these skillsleader
increased my responsibilities in my military career as well as my leadership role in my division. Once I received a leadership role I began to understand everything. I learned, because I had responsibilities and others relied on me. I had to be a leader, not just a supervisor because my shipmates were looking up to me to guide them. I could have easily just told them what to do like another supervisor, but I wanted to be different and work with them. Learning those skills in the military was helpful to me because I was able to improve my leadership skills, and become a better person.

Leaving the military was a new challenge for me because I had to translate my military leadership and experience into the civilian world. One thing that I questioned was if my leadership skills had any relation to the civilian leadership. It turns out that they are veryleader similar, but one has to have a different approach because of the different culture. Learning how to distinguish the two was a challenge because I went into the military
straight out of high school, the only thing I knew was my military lifestyle and the civilian lifestyle was very different. The leadership aspect was different because I was used to one group of people and had their respect that I earned. Now I had to start from the beginning, I always kept in my mind those words learned long ago in Basic Training, be confident, competent and always have courage. You one never know what is going to happen next.

Now, that I have been out of the US Navy for several years I still have the same leadership skills I learned in my military career and they still are in place in my civilian career. Courage is energy that keeps me doing the right thing, even when its feels scary or difficult. Competence is my ability to make decisions and execute. Confidence is the foundation of my character.

“A true leader has confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and patience to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader but becomes one by the quality of his actions and integrity of his intention.” – Douglas McArthur

Do you have the courage, competence and confidence to be a leader today?

Salud Woodhead

Bryant University Class of 2017

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