Nov. 25, 2020 —
Our Deckplate Leader is Chief Petty Officer Paul Pleiss from the C4IT Division at District Nine!
Whether it's the compassion and active mentorship towards shipmates, engagement in the Leadership Diversity & Advisory Council, or Coast Guard representation on a local Health Improvement Center Board, Chief Pleiss embodies the Anchor both professionally and personally.
Pleiss is a well-respected and highly regarded member of the Chief’s Mess. He is always striving to find opportunities to reinforce cohesion and cooperation with the Coast Guard enlisted workforce.
Pleiss believes a good chief is more than a coffee cup and an anchor on your cover (although a good place to start). It requires humility, tact and a sense of humor. It demands that you set the example, both on and off duty. A good chief gets the job done, but also models a healthy work/life balance.
A good chief knows their people and takes care of the whole person, ensuring they are able to meet the demands the service places on them and their family. Getting to know your people, both up and down the chain of command, requires more than just learning the name(s) of their spouse or their hobbies, but also includes learning their values and what motives them. Being attentive to your folks, and giving them the tools and techniques to get their job done at work, while also providing access to programs and assistance to help them deal with issues off-duty, is a critical role for the chief.
Obtaining mission excellence requires that our people be prepared to meet the challenges of their job; if someone is having issues at home, they are not going to be able to perform at work.
Finally, a good chief needs to reward those that do well, and hold accountable those who do not live up to our core values.
His advice to the junior workforce:
“If you keep waiting for "leadership moments" to materialize during your career, you are going to be waiting a long time. Be proactive. Leadership, as described by the Coast Guard's leadership competencies, starts with leading yourself. Take initiative to be the leader you want to become by learning what things are important to you, and what your strengths and weaknesses are. Treat others with respect, especially those below you in the pecking order. You may not have the opportunity to drive a Higgins boat into oncoming gunfire to extricate Marines from Guadalcanal, but you have an opportunity every single day to serve with honor, respect and devotion to duty.”