Commentary

January 10, 2013

Be the leader you deserve

Commentary by Maj. Dale Williquette
22nd Maintenance Operations Squadron

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. (AFNS) — We all know that the New Year brings resolutions that typically revolve around better health and fitness, paying off debt or competing educational goals.

What about making a resolution to be a better leader?

Vince Lombardi said, “Leadership rests not only upon ability, not only upon capacity – having the capacity to lead is not enough. The leader must be willing to use it. His leadership is then based on truth and character. There must be truth in the purpose and will power in the character.”

Leadership is a key skill in almost any organization, but it is a must in the military. Key aspects of leadership include setting a good example, followed closely by setting and then enforcing standards. We all know these tenets from professional military education and mentorship that we receive from those we work with daily. There are two additional aspects of leadership that we should look at more closely if we want to be truly successful leaders.

The first is leading by being the leader you wish you had. We all know of good and bad examples of leadership. We have all worked for bad leaders and said to ourselves, “If I ever get a chance to lead, I’ll never do what he/she just did.”

We have also worked for outstanding leaders who we would attempt to emulate given the chance to lead. In my experience the best leaders were the ones who led as the leaders they wished they had. I know that sentence is a mouthful, but think about it. Would anyone want to be a bad leader for themselves? It is a leadership application of “do unto others as you would do unto yourself.” This doesn’t mean that you should cancel all standards and let people do whatever they want. It means that you should hold yourself to the same standard that you hold all of your folks to and treat them the way you would like a leader to treat you.

The second is followership. You’re asking yourself, “What does followership have to do with leadership?” The answer is quite simple. The only individual in our military chain of command who does not work for a superior is the President of the United States. The rest of us are followers in some way. Those who you lead pay attention to how you follow your leaders. They will emulate your followership, therefore in order to be a good leader you must also be a good follower. In order to be a good follower I recommend you take the advice of the previous paragraph and be the follower you wish you had. Once again we have all had good followers and bad followers. As leaders we can learn from our followers if we just pay attention. If you are as good a follower as you wish you had, then your leadership will be happy as long as you maintain those standards we talked about earlier.

The ultimate goal of all leaders should be to grow their replacements. Our purpose should be to train our followers to be at least as good a leader, preferably a better leader, than we are now. By setting good examples of being the leader/follower we wish we had we can grow the next generation of Air Force leaders to improve upon our successes and continue the process of increasingly superior leadership. It is up to us to do it right.




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


 
 

 

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Holidays!

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. — In our increasingly secular world, there is a growing misunderstanding that it is safer to say “Happy Holidays” during the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza season, than to name the specific holiday which you or most other people celebrate. I am always drawn to explore these interesting dilemmas. I once read a...
 
 
Richardson_pict

Down and out at Dyess: Air Force Assistance Fund to the rescue

It was scary, leaving home and joining an organization such as the United States Air Force. The people, job, and location were all brand new. When I joined the military, I came from a less than honorable home life.  I come fro...
 
 

Asking for help is sign of strength not weakness

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — Growing up I was a big fan of Muhammad Ali. He was the world heavyweight boxing champion and unashamedly referred to himself as “The Greatest.” I vividly remember a reporter asking Ali, “When did you know that you were ‘The Greatest?’” Before Ali could answer, the reporter offered, “Perhaps it was...
 

 

“Little people like you make Christmas better”

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — “It’s little people that make the difference. Little people like you.” The fictional character Frank Shirley pitched his “little people” Christmas message to Clark Griswold in the 1989 movie “Christmas Vacation.” Although demeaning in a comical way, the little people reference is seen over and over in classic Christmas stories. Litt...
 
 

Thanksgiving and our Native Americans

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — On the fourth Thursday of every November, we as Americans celebrate the national holiday Thanksgiving. This day focuses on honoring the early settlers, and their harvest feast, which we know to be the “First Thanksgiving.” However, long before settlers came to the United States’ East Coast, the area was inhabited by...
 
 

Keep safety in mind when cooking Thanksgiving feasts

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries.  Every year hundreds of Americans die, thousands more are injured and roughly $500 million...
 




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