I recently attended the New England Healthcare Engineering Society Fall Conference in Newport, RI. The keynote speech was given by Dr. Vincent W. Patton III. Dr. Patton, or Vince, served as Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard from 1998 until his retirement from the Coast Guard in 2002. Vince served our country with more than 30 years of active service.

Vince’s keynote presentation was called Core Values: The Root of Success. I enjoyed his presentation, which combined personal and professional remembrances, a first-person account of a military career that he envisioned as a youth due to his desire to emulate and follow his older brother, his hero, into the military.

I asked Vince if he would appear on our High Reliability podcast, which he graciously agreed to do. Vince weaves his own personal Core Values of 

  • People 
  • Passion
  • Performance

into the Core Values of the Service he represented for more than 30 years, the Coast Guard:

  • Honor
  • Respect
  • Devotion to Duty

Vince leads us through his unique stories of career path and development, being inspired by mentors, and holding core values as guideposts throughout a distinguished career. 

He talks about a 1952 storm off the coast of New England that helped him seal his enlistment with the Coast Guard, and offers thoughts on how he formulated his own personal core values.

“I thought about what is important to me and I came up with these three words. I wanted them to be something that I could embrace.”

 In this episode of High Reliability, Vince also talks about: 

  • Leading through human tragedy in Haiti and Cuba during Operation Able Manner, while balancing mission, duty, and core values;  
  • Learning from soccer player Pele, a poignant remembrance of the late General Colin Powell,  and meeting Alex Haley; 
  • Adhering to Core Values in today’s chaotic business world, and the importance of passion for your job. 

It is a great listen, download and subscribe here:


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