Commentary

September 6, 2012

Airmen have a choice — get bitter or get better

Commentary by Master Sgt. Joel W. Shepherd
338th Training Squadron first sergeant

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — As warriors in today’s Air Force we face many overwhelming challenges. These challenges include an ever-expanding mission, a constantly shrinking manpower pool, a diminishing budget, an increasing overload of personal stressors, a demanding environment of “multi-hatted” duties at all levels and the same expectation of excellence in all areas that’s always been expected. These daunting burdens present us with great adversity. This adversity can lead to discouragement and negative attitudes. As leaders, we are at a crossroad where we can either “get bitter or get better.” Our nation, our Air Force, our leaders, our peers and our Airmen all need us to provide bold leadership with a positive attitude of hope and optimism every day.

When faced with adversity the easy thing, and possibly the natural thing, to do is to commiserate and breed an Eeyore-like mentality, “The sun’s too hot, the road is too long, and there is a rock in my shoe.” We can choose to “Worry-down-and-all-around” or “Warrior-up”. Stephen Covey wrote, “Opposition is a natural part of life. Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition-such as lifting weights-we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.” Adversity can make us better if we don’t let it make us bitter (John Maxwell, Attitude 101).

One of the secrets of getting better is to focus on what we do have rather than what we don’t have. One of the keys to success is to not let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do (John Maxwell, The Difference Maker). Despite all our challenges, we have a selected team of all-stars who are willing to do what is asked of them for this country. We have the title as one of the greatest organizations the world has ever known. We have a responsible enlisted corps of warriors who are bred to be technically sound in their craft. And, we have the core values as a foundation in all our Airmen. Whether we breed bitterness or betterment amongst our teams is truly dependent upon our attitudes as leaders.

As leaders, our attitudes can become our greatest and most inexpensive asset or our most burdensome and costly liability. The price we pay for a positive attitude is simple and cheap. This bill includes showing up to work with some enthusiasm, not becoming a naysayer, concentrating on solutions rather than problems, consistently meeting and enforcing standards, thanking and rewarding superior performance, expressing pride in the unit identity and the Air Force and smiling frequently.

Our attitudes can breed commitment over mere compliance. Compliance is easy to build and it is easy to recognize. Our Air Force is full of compliant Airmen who do what they are told. A team that operates under compliance is just watching the clock, hoping that no further tasks come down prior to the end of the day. On the same note, a team operating under commitment is more concerned with mission accomplishment, excellence and teamwork rather than watching the clock. We can either become masters of our attitudes and reap the daily benefits of teamwork and morale, or we can become victims of our attitudes and battle the daily burdens of complacency and mediocrity.

Our supervisors, our peers and our subordinates depend on us to provide daily dosage of a positive attitude and an optimistic hope. Understand, we get paid and are charged with executing the mission and solving problems, not with complaining about the barriers and perpetuating further negativity.

Worry-down or Warrior-up? Perpetuate problems or find solutions? Become masters or settle as victims? Breed commitment or build compliance? Get bitter or get better? The choice is ours.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Guard Muster brings Arizona together

(U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brian A. Barbour) Arizona National Guard Soldiers from the 158th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade stand in formation on the field at Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium, Dec. 7 in Tempe. The formation, which was part of the Arizona National Guard Muster and Community Expo, was the first...
 
 
NORAD_pict

NORAD prepares to track Santa’s flight

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) — The North American Aerospace Defense Command’s NORAD Tracks Santa website, http://www.noradsanta.org, launched Dec. 1, featuring a mobile version, a holiday countdown, new games a...
 
 

Air Force not planning Involuntary Force Reductions in 2015

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. – The modern Air Force is “feeling some strain” recently, due to its shrinking size and high operations tempo, but there won’t be any more involuntary force-shaping in 2015, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said today. James said she and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark...
 

 

Local Briefs December 19, 2014

NARFE chapter 55 to meet January 12, 11 a.m. – Golden Corral The National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) Association, Chapter 55, will hold their next monthly luncheon meeting on Monday January 12, 2015 at the Golden Corral, 4380 East 22nd Street, Tucson, AZ 85711.  The luncheon starts at 11 a.m. and ends about...
 
 

New Commander addresses Airmen of 12th Air Force

To all of the 12th Air Force Community, Happy Holidays! My wife Kristan, my three children, and I are excited to join this outstanding 12th AF community.  I cannot adequately express how honored and humbled I feel to join this community as the Commander.   I certainly appreciate the exceptional efforts of General and Mrs....
 
 
(AFSOUTH)

New commander to take reins of 12th AF, AFSOUTH

Twelfth Air Force and Air Forces Southern will welcome a new commander during a change of command ceremony Dec. 19 at 10 a.m. at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Major Gen. Chris Nowland will be promoted to the rank of lieutenant ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin