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Virtual Roundtable Notes 2016.0506
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Virtual Roundtable Notes (May 6, 2016)
Developing a Leadership or Command Philosophy
Lieutenant Commander Charlotte Mundy

Central Ideas

Session handout



Do you share your philosophy in a print version to people you command so they always have access to it or do you just communicate verbally?

CG teaches us to do this; don’t require it, but part of the culture. Every command I’ve ever been to has had one and it’s physically posted all over the ship. Visible reminder of why we’re here and why we’re doing these things.

Your philosophy has a section about your commitment to the ship and shipmates (not present in others). Is that unique to you?

Particular to me. First philosophy I wrote in 2002, it was very bland, cookie-cutter and not reflective of my leadership style. By 2008-09 had more leadership experience and more comfortable with my style and able to talk about it. Felt right for me to share why I thought this was important. I want to be a person to them, not just a captain. I’m not a typical CG officer; different experiences and background. Owed it to the crew to be able to understand me better.

Idea of leading from the middle or wherever you happen to be in organizational structure. Would you change how you present yourself/style if context changes so that you’re managing/leading up as well as down?

Sometimes in a place where we’re not responsible for command philosophy; in situation where you’re supporting someone else’s command philosophy. Can be hard if you don’t understand the other person’s philosophy, until you get to know them better. Can be really hard; constant communication with captain is important (daily basis). Constant, but casual. Open and clear, but constant, communications between all levels of leadership.

Charlotte’s philosophy: appreciate the commitment section; similar to section in syllabus about what students could expect from us. Appreciate the part about being open and willing to accept feedback. Structure in academia is not so hierarchical. What can I learn from this and apply to my own context (open up to group discussion)?

Preparing faculty for leadership roles (maybe doing some department chair training)

Large center with people who may not be in a leadership role within the center, but are leaders in the institution on teaching. Trying to think about leadership development for someone without a specific leadership title. Would writing the leadership philosophy still have potential for those individuals?

Any time you interact with other people, that’s an aspect of leadership. Just the exercise of going through and understanding your own values, writing them down, and speaking them. Understand why they’re important to you and what they mean to you to helps you understand what you value and how you interact with others. Will follow through in your actions and help you build that trust. Become known as a solid participant within the group and let others know what they can expect from you.

How to empower someone who is not empowered within the academy and who is afraid (example of adjunct sitting on search committees and being afraid to speak up was presented)?

Illustrates the importance of establishing your own leadership/command philosophy. Helps you decide which battles to fight and which to let go. If you don’t do the groundwork, you might feel like everything is a battle when maybe it doesn’t have to be.

One specific action people will take as a result of this session

General Discussion

(Charlotte’s comments) CG does a really good job of pushing leadership down to the lowest forms and taking leadership from wherever we find it. But it also forces us to recognize that there are many different ways of leading.

Participants commenting that this discussion will push them to be more intentional about their own leadership in the future.

Writing the leadership philosophy also helps one make the transition to a leadership role; declare that “I am a leader and this is what I’m going to do with it”. This can be especially true for faculty developers trying to make transition from a helping role to more of a leadership role.

The speech was about defining aspects of what leadership is. The statements felt like more statements for shared values or hope for shared values. This was appealing. Not always what you see when you read statements of philosophy.

Lots of love for the speech. Many found it emotional and inspiring.

Extra resources provided in the pre-webinar materials

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