Inspire: Keep learning leadership

Each month the Office of Leadership will be posting a blog post on what inspires people to be great leaders. Rear Adm. William Kelly, assistant commandant for Coast Guard Human Resources, and Mr. Curtis Odom, director of Civilian Human Resources, Diversity and Leadership, kicked off the “Inspire” series in March with a video asking for you to keep the leadership dialogue going and to share what inspires you to be a leader. The 2017 Inspirational Leadership Awards Winners will be highlighted in this series and will share what has inspired them to be great leaders.

Written by Mr. Charlie Coiro, instructor and assistant department head at the Coast Guard’s Leadership Development Center

After dedicating the last 23 years of my life developing leaders in the Coast Guard, I feel very fortunate to teach and work with the great people of our service. I am constantly challenged and inspired in the classroom by the stories and experiences that our students bring to our leadership discussions. I have been privileged to work with every facet of our workforce and it’s validating to see how motivated everyone is to do better at leading and caring for our people. The best thing about teaching leadership is that every course is different because of the different perspectives and experiences our students bring to the classroom. Whether I am meeting people in a course I teach, or working with our great staff to improve or create new courses, I am encouraged and excited for the future of our Service.

Mr. Charlie Coiro, an instructor and assistant department head at the Coast Guard's Leadership Development Center (LDC) talks to a class in New London, Connecticut. Photo courtesy of Charlie Coiro.

Mr. Charlie Coiro, an instructor and assistant department head at the Coast Guard’s Leadership Development Center (LDC) talks to a class in New London, Connecticut. Photo courtesy of Charlie Coiro.

To select just one thing that has inspired me, quite frankly, is a difficult task. Students are definitely my main inspiration, but I’m also inspired by the great leadership stories I collect through reading books and articles and watching military or sports related movies. Lately my best source of new information on leadership and psychology is podcasts. Some of my favorite leadership related podcasts are Manager Tools, Harvard Business Review (HBR) Ideacast, TED Radio Hour, and Hidden Brain.  TED Talks are one of my “go-to” sources for interesting videos that reinforce some of the concepts we teach in the classroom. In my opinion, one of my favorite sources for these talks is Simon Sinek. If you haven’t heard of him, I highly recommend searching for his TED Talks and videos. He has the ability to look at things from a whole new perspective and has given me many “ah-ha” moments when thinking about people and how/why we do things.

In the end, keep leading, keep inspiring, and keep learning.

The mission of the Office of Leadership is to communicate and facilitate the Commandant’s Leadership Philosophy and Coast Guard Leadership Competencies by providing Officer, Enlisted, and Civilian personnel with information and resources for professional development opportunities, recognizing exceptional leadership, and establishing policies to sustain leaders of character at all levels. Check back each month to see what people are talking about!

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