CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)(AW/NAC) Mike D. Stevens spent the day with more than 60 midshipmen from the University of Virginia Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Dec. 6.
MCPON spoke about his 'Zeroing in on Excellence' initiative. The initiative was released Nov. 6 and outlines MCPON's three focus areas; developing leaders, good order and discipline, and controlling what we own. He specifically talked about the fundamental focus of developing leaders.
"Leadership is one's ability to influence others; nothing more, nothing less," said Stevens. "Leaders influence others thoughts and actions. I need you to start thinking about how you are going to be an inspiration to those in your charge," he said. He added his thoughts on how leaders are able to influence others.
"I believe that leadership is either inherent or desired," said Stevens. He talked about how inherent leaders captivate and influence those around them naturally. "Inherent leaders are born with an ability to be the team captain, while desired leaders have the passion to develop all the skills necessary to be effective leaders," he said. He spoke about the importance of developing both styles of leadership to be successful in completing the mission and taking care of Sailors.
MCPON also spoke about how reading about the successes and failures of great leaders and "being bold" has increased his ability to lead. "Being bold is having the courage to stand up in front of others, voice your opinion, and be accountable for all of your actions," said Stevens.
MCPON concluded his talk by challenging the midshipmen to ask themselves what type of leader they will be. "Your Sailors will decide if you are a bad, good, or great leader," he said.
The 'Zeroing in on Excellence' initiative includes senior leaders having conversations with Sailors early and often to prepare them for leadership challenges they will face in the fleet. "I don't care if you are 18 or 50, what we do is serious business and you have to be ready to meet leadership challenges daily," said Stevens.
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