Time again for another “Meet the Team,” interview, which will introduce you to one of our instructors in the RBLP program. Today’s interview is with Chad Bacastow!
Hi Chad! Tell us a little about who you are and where you’re from.
My name is Chad Bacastow and I grew up in Bel Air, Maryland. I was born in 1974 and I am the middle of three siblings, with a sister who is 8 years older and another sister who is 4 years younger. Growing up, I enjoyed Boy Scouts, wrestling and camping. When I turned 18 years old, I enlisted into the Marine Corps and left for boot camp soon after graduating high school.
What can you tell us about your education and career background before you started working with RBLP?
Over the 20 years that I spent in the Marine Corps, I attended many formal schools that developed both my instructional techniques and my leadership. I spent a tour as an instructor teaching my primary military occupational specialty (electro-optics maintenance) where I became a certified Master Instructor. I also served as a Marine Corp Drill Instructor, a Martial Arts instructor and a Water Survival Instructor Trainer. As I progressed through my military career, I did attend some college; however, it was not until three years after my retirement that I completed a bachelor degree in education and training. I immediately continued on my graduate studies in the field of leadership. Currently, I am employed by a defense contractor who manufactures electro-optics equipment. My position as a program manager allows me to travel across the world supporting our customers and assisting them in establishing maintenance facilities. I received my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification early in 2019 and my RBLP-T certification earlier this year.
Who is a role model that you’ve interacted with in your life that inspired you toward this career trajectory?
I have had many great role models through my life who have shaped my career path and influenced my personality. Early in life, it was my own father and my Scout Master who gave me a sense of my patriotic duty, instilled a solid work ethic and influenced my character. Throughout my military career, there have been several leaders who have coached me along and helped overcome adversity in my life. Some of these people were leaders positioned within my chain of command, however one person in particular is a close friend who pushed and challenged me to try new things, to constantly seek improvement, and step outside my comfort zone.
What drew you to the role that you’re fulfilling with RBLP as a certification instructor?
Until I was contacted by Dr. Gene Coughlin personally through LinkedIn, I had not heard about RBLP. He asked if I would like to assist his organization in instructing and coaching others in the leadership approach and philosophies that he developed under RBLP. I had been eager to get back into a role where I could teach others and make an immediate and positive impact on organizations, and I felt that this would be a perfect opportunity to fulfill a void that had been in my professional life for quite some time. Dr. Gene coached me personally through all three stages of his RBLP program and conducted the certification exam himself. I have been coaching for him for a little over a month now and I look forward to every training session I have with his clients.
In your mind, what is the best definition of “resilience” for those who might be unfamiliar with the program that RBLP offers?
To me, resilience is a person’s ability to withstand tough times and more importantly, to learn from hardship to become better and more adaptive in the future. What RBLP offers, are the principles that leaders need to build their teams to become more resilient. This resilience establishes the foundation for team learning which will in turn foster change and innovation. When teams are able to change, the organization may also grow and become more competitive. Organizations who are not able to learn and overcome challenge soon fall to the side and lose any advantage they once had over their competition. These concepts can be related just as easily on the battlefield as they can be in the corporate environment.
What are the three most important components, in your opinion, that you try to convey to every team that you train under the RBLP certification program?
The three most important components that I focus on as I train others in the RBLP certification program are the importance of demonstrating character, showing genuine concern for people, and trust. If a person cannot exhibit these foundational elements of leadership, it becomes difficult to impossible to build a resilient team and rally others behind a common goal.
What is one of your own best personal experiences in your career that has influenced or inspired you in your certification training?
Probably one of the best and most influential experiences in my career that has inspired me during conducting RBLP certification training is my time spent while deployed as a military advisor in Iraq. While the challenges of being imbedded with a foreign military unit with only eleven other Marines can be frequent and sometimes daunting, working in a small team and overcoming adversity is very relatable to the lessons covered in RBLP. Learning to leverage the experience, knowledge, and talents of others can get a team through the most difficult of times. These lessons can be applied to the things I do today as a program manager just like they can be related to the challenges of military service.
In your time as an RBLP instructor, what is one of your best memories of a training program that you’ve accomplished with a company and why?
Although it has only been a short few weeks instructing RBLP, I had a great experience just last week when one of the RBLP-T candidates that I have been working with, called me out by name on LinkedIn as being a tremendous coach in his certification preparation. It is not always easy to determine if you are making an impact to those you coach and it was very rewarding to hear that I have made a difference in this person’s path to becoming certified and becoming a more influential leader.
Pivoting a little bit from the program – tell us a little about yourself outside of work! What other activities or hobbies do you love?
Outside of work, I spend almost all of my time with my family. We enjoy hiking, camping and attending all the great festivals that New England has to offer. My goal as a parent is to be a positive and influential part of my son’s life and the best way I know how to do that is to be ever present and involved in everything he does as a child. One hobby that I recently began was biking. In the last couple years, I have had hip and knee surgery, so I have had to explore other methods of maintaining a level of physical fitness. Biking, as well as swimming, has provided me a great outlet to burn some calories – something that I think is imperative for overall mental health. Lastly, finding time to read can be a difficult thing for some people, so while I do enjoy reading about all sorts of subjects (history as well as fiction), I find it good time spent, on my commute to and from work, listening to audio books. I am huge Star Wars fan so listening to these books is a favorite pastime.
Can you give us a quotation that you feel really inspires you to continue inspiring others?
The following is a quote that I carried with me while I was on active duty. It inspired me to get through difficult times in my career, whether it was deployed to Iraq or working the difficult duty as a Marine Drill Instructor. The quote is from Charles R. Swindoll, an educator, author, and pastor, and speaks about the importance on our attitude in life and how the manner in which we look at and react to things is far more important than what is actually happening to us. Our attitudes help us to be more resilient and they impact every aspect of our personal and professional lives.
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.” — Charles R. Swindoll (educator, author, pastor)
RBLP leadership certifications are about Building Resilient Teams™ that overcome adversity and then can adapt and grow together! As always, we are #StrongerTogether.
Learn more about the requirements for the RBLP Certification program.