Commentary

May 2, 2013

Leadership not defined by shapes, sizes

Commentary by Col. Jerry Wizda
39th Medical Group commander

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey (AFNS) – Short in stature at 5 feet 4 inches, not particularly handsome, a bookworm and not exactly the life of the party, James Madison does not fit some perceptions of a leader.

In today’s world, he probably would have been perceived as a nerd. But, his brilliant mind and leadership skills now have historians re-embracing Madison’s presidency and his leadership.

President Madison is best known as “The Father of the Constitution.” He was a delegate, unequaled in his writing abilities, who kept written documentation at every secret Constitutional Convention’s meeting. Later, his Virginia Plan became the basis for our Constitution. What most people do not remember is President Madison’s equally successful presidency, when he led an infant nation against the greatest naval power in the world and won. The War of 1812 remains “The Forgotten War.” Many do not realize it was through President Madison’s leadership the U.S. escaped becoming, once again, subjects of Great Britain.

So what personal attributes made this man an unlikely leader, and what can you take from the story of President Madison and apply to today’s world to make you a leader?

First, always believe in yourself and never doubt your abilities. This is probably the hardest perception to embrace. Each day when President Madison went to the Constitutional Convention meetings, he stood up and rallied for a democratic government with election of congressmen directly by the people. He wrote the Federalist Papers with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton; documents considered to be the best interpretation of American government, even in present times. He truly embraced his ideals, and this spurred him to speak and write what was in his heart. His conviction to his ideals gave us the great nation we have today. At work, strive to be the best you can be. Work from your heart. If you give already 100 percent, strive to give 110 percent.

Secondly, stay true to yourself and stand by your convictions. After President Madison asked Congress to declare war on Great Britain June 1, 1812, riots began because of the decision. Talk of succession in New England ran rampant. But, President Madison stayed true to his belief in freedom for America. And, despite opposition to the war, he stood his ground. He said, “If we lose, we lose independence.” People will perceive you as a leader if you stick to your beliefs and do not go back and forth on your ideals. Even those who do not agree with you will respect you for your steadfast loyalty and convictions.

Lastly, know when to stay and know when to run. Even the best leaders must give up the fight at some point for the sake of their people. On August 24, 1814, President Madison and Congress fled Washington on horseback as the British advanced on the city. While it may have been perceived as cowardly to run, fleeing the city was the only choice President Madison had.

If he had a chosen to stay and ordered Congress to stay, they would have been captured or killed. Merely three days after fleeing, President Madison returned to Washington, rallied the citizens, and connected with the people like he never had before. President Madison rallied Congress and met in a post office, the only building left standing. He began the work of the government from scratch and turned the tide of war. Think carefully about your decisions and of the consequences down the road. Is the fight worth it?

Not all of us will become president, but each in our own way, can be a successful leader. Every day we make decisions that affect our families, the Air Force and its Airmen, and our country. Many of these decisions are simple, and many can be life-altering. If we embrace the lessons of our forefathers, we are sure to become successful Airmen and leaders in our own right.




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


 
 

 

Diamond Sharp August 1, 2014

Name/Squadron:   Airman 1st Class Colby Evans / 43 ECS First Sergeant: Master Sgt. Jaime Lewis Duty Title: Knowledge Operations/Commander’s Support Staff When joined the AF: March 4, 2013 Hometown: Freemont, CA Hobbies: Playing various sports such as football and basketball, video gaming, hiking, drawing Selection Reasons: In Airman Evans’ short time in the Air...
 
 

Local Briefs August 1, 2014

AMMO to conduct inventory Aug. 8 The AMMO Flight will be conducting a 100% Change of MASO inventory, Aug. 8. Please direct any concerns to Munitions Operations at 228-8009. Stay and Play Wednesdays, 10-11:30 a.m. – Youth Center instruction room This is a new program for parents and children ages birth to five years. Features...
 
 

Quality of rituals determines quality of life

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. (AFNS) — Over the last year I’ve been on a quest to identify and highlight simple success strategies that, if followed, will increase career success. Where does one start on the path to becoming successful? Some would say, “habits,” but it goes farther than that. Habits are repeatable actions that...
 

 
DT_pict3

Colonel Blanchard bids farewell

Desert Lightning Warriors, It has been the singular honor of my 23 plus year career to serve you as your commander. Your dedication to excellence, service to the nation, and high standards of integrity never cease to amaze me, ...
 
 
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Gregory Ferreira)

Motivated to save lives

Airmen assigned to the 162nd Wing showcased their medical deployment skills during a decontamination exercise July 15 at the medical facility here. The decontamination, DECON, exercise lasted two days and consisted of three sce...
 
 

AF Marathon sells out, race transfer program announced

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) — The Air Force Marathon has officially sold out all races and organizers have announced details for the transfer program. “The transfer program is the only official way for runners to give their bib to another runner,” said Rob Aguiar, the race director. The transfer program opened on July...
 




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