Mr. Miscavige puts in order wherever he is. He puts in order in every sector of the Church of Scientology.… He’s an extraordinary leader and I’m very fortunate to have him as my leader. Mike Napier
I first met Mr. Miscavige in December of 1985. I was then designated to be Captain of the Sea Org Motor Vessel Freewinds. He wanted to meet me as I had been designated, and we had about a ten-minute conversation at that time. I had never met him before. He was a regular guy, asked me questions like I would be sitting here talking with you. He asked me a few questions; it was very comfortable. And then we ended and we left. The next day I was in an office, I was looking over the different folders describing the ships that we wanted to survey. And to show you the type of man Mr. Miscavige is, and leader, and how his impression was in result of our first meeting, he looked at me and he says, “It’s up to you. It’s your responsibility. You go out and find a ship. I’m handing it over to you.”
From the beginning, he came down to inspect the ship and see how we were doing. He was very cordial. He was very relaxed with the new crew. He knew what we were going through—a lot to put the ship there. But he would walk around and he would sit down and he would have—I would sit down with him. And he would give me some suggestions. Those suggestions would always open the door to a handling on any problem I had. So that’s, you know, you can just extrapolate or go on from there for every time that I have dealt with Mr. Miscavige. The same process happens.
I look up to him as setting the example for my own ability to manage, my own ability to work towards getting something done, and then getting it done, which is really a done. In other words, it resolves a situation. And that’s his attitude. That’s what he has taught me and that’s what he teaches us all, is how to really manage, how to be responsible. You know, it’s like it’s yours, you’re responsible for it.
I’ll give you an example. He taught me the definition of the word “operational.” As a captain, I’m a very highly, professionally qualified individual. But he taught me how to take that to another level, how to take full responsibility for all parts of the ship, including the ship itself, its equipment, the passengers and crew. And of course the environment is very important. And also the security. And each one of those points, he taught me how to take it to—you know, face it with full responsibility and handle it.
The ship was called to do a rescue one night and there were people that were lost at sea. And there were military vessels, other cruise ships, private yachts, looking to rescue people. And it was night and the wind was blowing about twenty-five knots and we knew we only had so much time to get to these people—they were fishermen. We knew they were out there and had not reported in.
We were all doing search patterns. And one by one, different people, different ships, different organizations were giving up. And I remembered something that Mr. Miscavige said to me directly before that. He says, “Never give up. Always push toward your goals. You can do it.” So I looked at that and I remembered those words and I said, “I’m going to find these guys. We’re going to find these guys. We’re going to not give up.” And so we just sat down, I called a huddle on the bridge and I said, “Guys, you know what we’ve got to do here. We’ve got to find these people because if we don’t they’re gone.” And so we worked out some things, I gave a rudder command. Three minutes later I was fifteen feet from that boat and we saved three lives. But I always remembered what Mr. Miscavige told me, he says, “Persist. Get the product. Never give up.”
He is a man that has a great passion for what he does. And he has a great compassion for those that he works with. And that passion is carried over into working with his crew, his teams. He instills in them an energetic, enthusiastic attitude. And while they’re doing that, he gives them a great passion to lead them forward. He always acknowledges for, you know, a good job. He sets targets and direction which is demanding, but it has to be demanding. And then he walks you through the process. He works with you through the process and then when you get the end product of what you need to do—in my case, is a ship that holds the highest standards 100 percent of the time, twenty-four hours a day for thirty years, you know.
He always shows me and has shown me how it can even be better every day and how if it isn’t better, you know, you’re not making it better. If you have a standard here, he’s taught me and the crew and everybody he works with, let’s take it to a new level. And therefore you’re always, always being better. And if you don’t operate that way, you’re getting worse.
And so, this is, you know, this is the passion that he has, that he instills in us. And the compassion that he has for everybody he works with makes you want to work with him and for him.
The term leadership is probably one of the most misdefined or not-understood words that there is in the English vocabulary. Leadership to me means putting in order. Mr. Miscavige puts in order wherever he is. He puts in order in every sector of the Church of Scientology. He sets the strategy for every sector of Scientology and then he goes and makes sure that it’s in perfect order. He’s an extraordinary leader and I’m very fortunate to have him as my leader.