CO's Leadership Philosophy

CAPT Matthew W. Lake
Leadership Philosophy

My Personal Leadership Values and Intent

Place the interests of those that I serve and lead before my own. Hold the Yard workforce and myself accountable to the highest character standards. Lead from the front, and set challenging goals - removing obstacles that block success. Ensure the Yard is prepared for the future. These are the leadership values most important to me - and those that shape how I intend to lead our organization.

What I Ask of You as Leaders and Members of our Yard Family

Place interests of those that you serve and lead before your own. Act selflessly at all times. Enable your team to do the best job possible. Invest in the personal and professional growth of your team-members. Share credit with those you serve and lead, and establish an environment built upon trust, respect, devotion to duty, and commitment to our organization. By doing so, you will get the most out of your team because they will want to work with and for you. Adhere to the highest character standards. Leaders of unquestionable character earn respect from those they serve and lead. Character is established through hard choices and a strong moral compass. Once character is compromised you cannot earn it back – and the integrity of our organization is undermined.

Lead from the front. You must position yourself where you can fully understand the manner, tasks, and environment in which your people perform their work – so that you are able to make well-informed decisions and advocate for them.

Set challenging goals. You must recognize limitations faced by your team, set goals that test those limits, and remove obstacles that block success. The challenge is to know exactly what the boundaries are, and stretch them just enough to inspire improvement. This requires diverse perspectives and “outside the box” thinking. It requires you to empower people and be willing to accept mistakes – but ensure your team is able to learn from them. Mistakes are okay, but compromising the fundamental values or standards of our Service is never acceptable.

Prepare for the future. Balance your focus between long-term “strategic” issues and “tactical” day-to-day work. You must envision future requirements, and then build the capability to meet those requirements. This includes things like improving workforce professional development and capacity, modernizing facilities, refining processes and systems, and ensuring we are ready to service new assets like Offshore Patrol and Fast Response Cutters.

Our Calling

Our calling is to achieve our operational customers' fleet readiness requirements. Each day Coast Guard men and women carry out missions of tremendous value to the United States. We will give these men and women the assets and services they need to do their jobs safely and effectively. By doing so, we will honor our Nation, our Coast Guard, and those members of the Yard Family that came before us.