Captain Jacques Cousteau

Leadership Characteristic: Vision

Vision. You’re working towards a goal that’s greater than yourself. It could be something small, like the success of the team, or a larger vision like world peace. Working towards a vision is far more inspiring than working towards personal gain.

One of the aspects of Cousteau’s character that I most admire is his ability to work towards an intention greater than himself. Injured in an aviation training accident, he could no longer take to exploring the skies and thus turned his explorations to the sea. What he saw there was a world of undiscovered wonder that he innately knew was worth preserving for all life to enjoy and to thrive. Creating the research vessel, Calipso, with his extensive team of researchers, he dedicated his life to understanding human relationship to the world’s oceans, understanding the life within them and committing to keeping them as clean as possible for all life forms. I still draw on this remarkable man’s determination, vision and commitment.  Once I learned that I could not become the marine biologist I wanted to be because I had asthma and could not SCUBA dive, I kept close to my heart that I wanted to be a scientist of some kind.  As I move to help change and develop an education system that is worthy of our children and the children of the future, I keep Captain Cousteau's ability to vision alive in my heart.