Author

Sandra L. Stosz

Sandra L. Stosz has 22 articles published.

Vice Admiral Stosz, a Homeland Security Today editorial board member, started out in the U.S. Coast Guard as an ensign serving on polar icebreakers, conducting national security missions from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Her 40-year career is filled with leadership lessons gleaned while breaking ice and breaking glass as the first woman to command an icebreaker on the Great Lakes and to lead a U.S. armed forces service academy. She finished her career as the first woman assigned as Deputy Commandant for Mission Support, directing one of the Coast Guard’s largest enterprises. She has lectured widely on leadership, and has been featured on CSPAN and other media outlets. In 2012, Newsweek’s “The Daily Beast” named Vice Admiral Stosz to their list of 150 Women who Shake the World. Proceeds from “Breaking Ice and Breaking Glass: Leading in Uncharted Waters” will be donated to the US Coast Guard Academy James M. Loy Institute for Leadership.

Leading with Character: The Three I’s of Leadership

A Coast Guard member emphatically stated to Mayorkas, “Mr. Secretary, we revere Admiral Ray.”

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Leading with Character: Initiative and Innovation

We need workplace cultures that reward the initiative and innovation that will help their organization flex and bend, not break, under the next big challenge we’re sure to face.

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Leading with Character: Demonstrate Moral Courage

My outlook on moral courage has been shaped most profoundly by observing those who failed to do the right thing.

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Leading with Character: Believe in Yourself and Others

The Coast Guard excels at leadership development by providing motivated members boundless chances to test themselves.

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Leading with Character: Build Trust and Earn Respect

Leading with character means sincerely humbling yourself to actively earn others’ respect through personal and professional power.

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Leading with Character: Leadership Philosophy

To serve as a good mentor to younger people, like cadets, I needed to understand what mattered to them.

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Leading with Character: Model the Way

Admiral Zukunft personified the servant leader whom people choose to follow.

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Leading with Character: Strengths and Weaknesses

We each have two metaphorical wolves fighting inside us: strengths and weaknesses. The one that wins will be the one you feed. I chose to feed my strengths. I don’t ignore my weaknesses, but I don’t let them consume me, either.

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Leading with Character: Mentoring Misperception No. 3

Young people competing for senior, influential mentors have been given the impression that’s the key to success.

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Leading with Character: Mentoring Misperception No. 2

My experience onboard Glacier taught me the value of mentoring at all levels. I learned that some of the best help can come from subordinates who are committed to the success of each individual and the entire team.

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Leading with Character: Mentoring Misperception No. 1

Entering the Coast Guard Academy with the third class to include women, I was often the only woman leading mostly all-male teams throughout my career.

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Leading with Character: Mentoring

Leaders at all levels can serve as mentors. Contrary to what many may think, mentoring isn’t limited to the conventional senior-to-junior relationships. Peer-to-peer mentoring is powerful and indicative of healthy respect between co-workers.

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Leading with Character: What Is a Leader of Character?

The Coast Guard Academy James M. Loy Institute for Leadership offers a compelling definition of a leader of character that has helped me steer a straight course.

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Leading with Character: Be an Ally

Since I was the first woman to captain a ship of any type on the Great Lakes, my assignment generated considerable media interest and speculation about the ability of a woman to command a ship in a male-dominated merchant marine industry.

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Leading with Character: Adapt, Adjust, and Be Agile

During Hurricane Harvey, there existed no national emergency call system for the social media realm. The commandant of the Coast Guard was quickly notified of the crisis.

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Leading with Character: Growth Through Failure

I wanted to quit after my first escapade in a sailboat. I noticed other cadets capsizing; it wasn’t only me.

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Leading with Character: Devotion to Duty

Petty Officer Munro was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for heroism during World War II. Unbeknownst to many, the Coast Guard participated across the Pacific and Atlantic theaters, from the shores of Guadalcanal to the beaches of Normandy.

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Leading with Character: Respect

Alexander Hamilton instilled in the Revenue Cutter Service a culture of respect that has endured 230 years.

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Leading with Character: Honor

A model example of an executive who raised expectations for workplace conduct is Australian Army General David Morrison: “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.”

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Leading with Character: Core Values

Although the constant failure had tested my resolve, it taught me a valuable lesson in humility. Hard work and perseverance helped me develop the confidence, tempered by the humility of prior failure, that I would later need to succeed at the Coast Guard Academy.

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