Care-based Navy SEAL Leadership Principles in Action

Care-Based Leadership is found in those moving nations, such as Mahatma Ghandi or Winston Churchill; and in those transforming individuals into undefeatable teams, such as John Wooden or Bob Ladouceur (all-time winningest high school football coach). It is also found in those leading companies that that inspire customers to be teammates, such as Apple or Southwest Airlines; and in explorers leading expeditions into the unknown, such as Ernest Shackleton and Robert Peary.

Care-based principles of leadership and motivation hold that it is not enough to communicate WHAT and WHY you care as a leader. In order to inspire people to take great levels of action, you must demonstrate HOW you care about them. You must not only be able to answer their questions, “what should I care about?” and “why should I care?” but also show them “how to care” about accomplishing something greater than themselves.

President Theodore Roosevelt knew this back in 1912, and it is what made him such an effective leader in the Rough Riders – the first voluntary cavalry in the Spanish-American War – and as President of the United States:

“No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Each of these care-based leaders had different personalities and their own character flaws, but all of them were remarkably effective at inspiring people to do more than what they originally thought was possible. They knew how to connect the three levels of care – what, why and how – to get others to care as much as they did. In every case, no matter where you look, you will find the connective tissue of great leadership consists of linking the three elements of care: what, why and how.

Care-based Principles of Navy SEAL Leadership and Motivation

As a former Navy SEAL platoon commander, I had the honor with serving with many like-minded heroes who gave their lives not for recognition or monetary gain, but rather because they cared so deeply for their teammates and what their teammates stood for that the thought of letting them down was unthinkable. Their level of care approaches the same intensity of love that a father or mother has for their children. They did it because they understood that to lead is to serve and to serve is to care.

Moreover, they understood that care is multi-dimensional, and that it is not enough just to know what you care about. They realized that to be truly effective, you must align what you know with why you care and how you care. Discovering what you care about, defining why you care about it, and developing how you will put it in action is what care-based leadership is all about. “Care-Based Leading” distills what matters, so you can be a leader that matters.

Helping At-risk Youth “Reach their Summit” by Scaling the Tallest Peak in North America

At the time of writing this post, I am part of a committed team of Bay Area men – The Guardsmen – who have mobilized their talents and resources to enhance and improve the lives of at-risk youth since 1947. Our mission is to make a life-changing difference by raising funds for scholarship, campership and other youth programs; and in so doing, we help strengthen our entire community.

On May 25, 2018, I and other Senior Guardsmen embarked on a 21-day climbing expedition to Denali (aka Mt. McKinley) to create awareness for The Guardsmen and raise funds for The Guardsmen Scholarship Endowment Fund. We care deeply about the opportunities provided by the Guardsmen Scholarship program ( to at-risk youth. With over 250 scholarships provided annually, The Guardsmen Scholarship Endowment program has made a significant contribution to the San Francisco community. For those interested in following the Denali adventure, you can follow our blog.

We would very much appreciate your donations to the Guardsmen Scholarship Endowment Fund Capital Campaign to ensure the continued support of the scholarship program mission. The Mt. Denali peak is at an elevation of 20,310 ft. and our goal is to raise a dollar for every foot climbed. No contribution is too small to get us closer to our $20,310 goal! Additionally, please feel free to forward this along to family and friends who might have an interest in supporting The Guardsmen Scholarship Program.

To make a donation and to learn more about the climb, please follow this link:

Senior Guardsmen Helping At-risk Youth "Reach their Summit" by Scaling Tallest Peak in North America

Senior Guardsmen Helping At-risk Youth “Reach their Summit” by Scaling Tallest Peak in North America

Off to the Mountain Denali #UnstoppableTeam

Off to the Mountain #UnstoppableTeam

Click to Follow Our Journey:

Onward and upward!