Episode 277 Breaking Ice and Breaking Glass

On this episode of the Lead Up Podcast, Mike talks to Sandy Stosz, a retired coast guard who served for 40 years, with 12 years on seas. Sandy talks about her experiences with leadership in the coast guard as a woman, and also about her new book Breaking Ice and Breaking Glass. 

After telling us about herself, Sandy explains the differences between the Coast Guard and the Navy and how the Coast Guard gave equal opportunities to women whereas the Navy did not when she was entering the field. 

Sandy commanded 2 ships in her time, one of which she led 75 crew and only one other woman. She talks about how she became a commander, providing a great story about how her boss told her she would be promoted if she stood on the bridge like John Wayne barking orders. She realized quickly she couldn’t be John Wayne so she decided to be Sandy, which worked as she got the promotion in the end. She also mentions how she can use her differences to her advantage and how being the only woman was normal to her. 

Mike asks Sandy about her biggest challenges and she explains that it wasn’t what you think. It was actually to do with funding from the government being insufficient, causing a failure to run critical programs and failure to support people properly.

When asked about what changes she implemented in the coast guard, she talks about how women brought a softer side of leadership with them, which was tough for those there previously to adapt to because it wasn't a common form of leadership. She tells us about how emotional intelligence is the key for a leader today, as well as her three P’s of power;

  1. Personal
  2. Professional
  3. Position

Creating a workplace culture of success and inclusion and helping your people achieve their version of success is also crucial for any leader

To learn more about Sandy, you can visit www.sandrastowes.com, where you can purchase her new book Breaking Ice and Breaking Glass. She also has a weekly blog in Homeland Security Today which you can sign up for and read every week.


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