Your Ship just elected you as the new Boatswain. You are now in charge of a range of scouts, boats, and events. You have a new level of responsibility. Right now your ship respects you, they for voted you and that means you earned it and earned their respect; so here is some advice so you don’t lose it in seven does and don’ts.
1. You don’t know it all. Humility is the key to effective leadership. If you ‘know it all’ then you ignore everyone else’s combined leadership ability. You don’t want to be alone on the water, and you don’t want to be alone in your leadership.
2. Be fearless. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, just learn from them. It is totally fine to make mistakes as long as you take responsibility. If you are fearless then you will receive two rewards. (1) Your scouts will respect you even more, and (2) you will be able to make decisions quickly and learn to make GOOD decisions quickly. In Air Force ROTC we call that “snap”. It is something that combines both confidence, wisdom, and control. On the water you need “snap”, things happen quick.
3. Don’t show any insecurity. As soon as you do this people will not only question your decision but will question you. If you are unsure, keep it in and turn that into motivation to get through.
3. Remember Sea Scouts is Scout lead.. You are the leader of your scouts, not the Mates, not even the Skipper; you should make the decisions (with their guidance and approval though). This goes back to ‘you don’t it all’, so listen to the adults but still this is your opportunity to lead and to take chances.
4. If you see something you don’t like, fix it! What will your legacy be? Your mind is the only thing holding you back. Remember you have control of your mind, not the events around you. If you can bridle your mind, you have incredibly strength.
5. Think in the long term. Don’t get hung up on the small things, push on. But don’t live in the future, constrain yourself to the present.
6. Put yourself last. Always be kind. This is easy to do when times are good, but even when someone goes after you, still remain yourself. The greatest leader is one of good character, the opposite of those who might go against you.
7. Be honest. If isn’t true don’t say it. If it isn’t good don’t do it. How you lead is up to you, but don’t waste your time in leadership thinking of how you can be a good leader, be one. Have fun and best of luck!
Eugene DeNezza, II
Northeast Region Boatswain