News • April 03, 2018

Retired Navy captain addresses leadership to a CBU audience

Capt. Gus Gusentine

Riverside, Calif. (March 28, 2018) – Individuals need to have a sense of purpose and good leaders help impart that, retired Capt. Gus Gusentine told ROTC leaders and cadets at California Baptist University on March 28.

“You have to tell them as a commander, ‘you matter to my organization, you matter to my mission,’” Gusentine said. “If they don’t have that, your organization will break. Your capacity to complete a mission will dissolve.”

Gusentine spent 28 years in the U.S. Navy, which included leadership roles in special operations. He served in more 30 countries, working with senior U.S. and foreign officials. Gusentine spoke to various classes, student leadership groups and university administration at CBU throughout the week as part of the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow program sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges.

The world is changing through technology, climate and globalization, Gusentine said. Future leaders will need to understand the big picture and understand how everything is connected, he added.  

“You will be faced leading men and women in tough and challenging circumstances,” Gusentine said.

Good leaders also are scholars of their craft and try to impart a sense of value to everybody in their command, Gusentine said.

“The paradox about taking command is that it’s no longer about you,” Gusentine said. “It’s about your organization and their success. It’s about your people. That’s how you command successfully.”

Gusentine encouraged the cadets to be consistent and purposeful with each moment.

“You have to work at being a good leader. You have to learn,” Gusentine said. “Your reputation is built early. Every day we teach people what to expect from us.”

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