UNIVERSITY PARK — U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson talked about civic duty and engagement at a leadership forum held last week for Penn State Navy ROTC midshipmen.
Thompson addressed about 150 Marine- and Navy-option midshipmen in Kern Graduate Building on the University Park campus, describing civic duty as it relates to the federal government and the military, and his own experiences as U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District.
He explained his personal leadership philosophy and how essential it is for leaders to have “purpose, principle and passion.”
“Life is way too short not to have something you can embrace as your purpose,” he said. “Something that motivates you to get out of bed in the morning, to take on that task, that work. How you do that, what you look for, is entirely up to you.
“I use what I call principle-based leadership: defining what your principles are ahead of time, to guide you,” he added. “Sometimes, in your position, you don’t have a lot of time to make a decision. Sometimes lives are depending on your decision. If you define your principles ahead of time, you are well grounded, like standing on a rock. Principle-based leadership, I believe, keeps you grounded.
“I have the privilege and honor of working for over 30,000 men, women and children in the Pennsylvania 5th Congressional District. You think you have a chain of command, try that one on for size. And they all have different opinions. But what a great opportunity to serve.”
After the talk and a Q&A session, the students presented Thompson, a Penn State alumnus, with a plaque of the battalion’s unit seal in appreciation for his visit.
Penn State’s NROTC midshipmen attend a weekly professional development leadership forum at which guest speakers such as military advisers or government officials are invited to lecture. Topics include ethics, leadership skills, and moral values among others.