My Grandfather 's Leadership Style

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When I think of leadership I cannot help but to think of my grandfather. While my grandfather has held a high rank in the United States Navy, founded and continues to run Caithness Energy, has been the commodore of multiple yacht clubs, and has seen great success as a captain in competitive sailing – it is not the titles that he has held that define him as a leader. When I became experienced enough to join his racing crew I began to understand why I have witnessed so many people displaying such great respect for him over the years - both professionally and at sailing events.

The first thing I noticed about his leadership style is his contagiously upbeat personality and optimism. He is a firm believer in enjoying the challenge of the task at hand and appreciating the team that he is working with. Because of this, he does not let failure bring him or any of his team members down; every failure is a learning experience and ultimately strengthens the team. He always has a strong vision of what he wants to accomplish and a plan of action for what and who is needed in order to achieve success. Encouraging individual team members to challenge themselves and tap into their own skill sets is another important aspect of his leadership style. While he is always willing to help guide team members in successfully achieving a goal, he also has the confidence to empower others to lead when necessary. Lastly, it is the success of the team that drives him, not individual recognition or praise. He congratulates and thanks every member of the crew after every race and invites his crew to accept any awards that he receives. What I have learned from my grandfather is that a leader is someone who has the vision to reach a goal and the inf...

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...ghts. This allowed there to be input from every angle.

After being promoted to a manager in business development, I became responsible for the oversight of Account Support Representatives (ASR’s). I guided my ASR’s in researching and targeting prospects and creating and executing outreach. I found that providing them with advice from my experience combined with their unique approach and tactics allowed us to be most effective. It was always beneficial to hear their input before and after client meetings and without their support I knew that my job would be more difficult. While I know sales can be competitive, teamwork is paramount. Building on the guidance of my grandfather and the many smart people that I have worked with, I aim to continue to develop my leadership skills to become the most effective manager possible with the help of Fordham’s MBA program.
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