Rear Admiral Eric Coy Young, United States Navy


The Principles of Leadership

Integrity, accountability and fairness are at the heart and soul of any command. They are the principles that we as leaders must emulate in both our words and actions. Whether you are a seaman or an admiral, how you conduct yourself in your day to day activities will tell all those around you who you really are, and what you are made of. It will tell them whether or not you are trustworthy, and worthy of following.

  • Good leaders must be cognizant that they are in a position of trust and that others are always watching their actions. Their actions speak louder than words.
  • Good leaders hold themselves and others accountable. They don’t ask anyone to do what they wouldn’t do themselves, and they are their own toughest critic.
  • Good leaders have a “can do” spirit. They can’t wait to move out, to go “engines ahead full.” No one needs to tell them “engines ahead full,” they are already there.
  • Good leaders have a measure of toughness and resilience. They are the ones that everyone leans on in the darkest of times.

Everything we do as a leader matters. Both our subordinates and peers amplify the signals we send out, so it is incumbent upon us to always take a fix to determine where we are so that we can provide a positive example for others to follow.

Setting the example and maintaining the tenets of good leadership is what has kept our Navy strong for over 250 years. I am proud to have done my part and will rest assured that we will continue to maintain our global maritime superiority, both now and well into the future.