Commentary

December 12, 2013

Detached supervision breeds average performance

Commentary by Master Sgt. Antonio Lindley
99th Logistics Readiness Squadron

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.  — Growing up as a child, I got in trouble for getting a “C” grade for my school work and it reflected on my report card.

My mother, actively involved in my childhood development, instilled an ethos: “There is an enemy called average; you are not average and an average score isn’t acceptable.”

Some of my friends had “detached parents.” Some detached parents may work a lot, avoid parent-child development and generally may not be involved in their child’s upbringing. Some tend to send their child to their room to watch television or play video games.

Some children of detached parents got in trouble at school and A and B grades rarely reflected on their report cards.

In retrospect, most of these childhood friends are in jail, just got out of jail or doing nothing significant with their life.

To avert this situation, it is vitally important for a parent to proactively interact with their children to mold and shape success, but this can also be applied to supervisor and subordinate relationships.

When I joined the military I saw a similar “detached parent” situation, but instead of seeing it in my mother or father, I saw it in a supervisor.

I was new to the Air Force and didn’t know what to expect. Much like a “detached parent,” my supervisor never got involved and provided no guidance. I simply did my job and went home.

I accomplished everything asked of me. In my eyes, I was an outstanding Airman. Then, all of a sudden, my enlisted performance report was due. I didn’t know what an EPR was. I didn’t even know I was graded for my performance and never had a mid-term feedback.

My very first EPR was a four.

I learned from my first supervisor what not to do, and this bad experience catapulted my life into excellence. I used the experiences of my parent-childhood upbringing, with the help of a great supervisor, who would constantly remind me, “When excellence is the standard, good isn’t good enough.”

This supervisor led by example and instilled good work ethics. She said when you walk past a problem, you set a new standard. As she would say, “Never walk past a problem, face it head on, and come up with a solution.”

In one instance, she pointed out that when you see trash on the ground, pick it up and throw it in the trash. If you walk passed the trash, you set a new standard. As time passes, other people will walk past it and more trash will accumulate. If you know a better way of resolving a problem, use your expertise to help solve the problem.

It only takes one good, interactive supervisor to know the importance of communicating with subordinates and explaining expectations to better an Airman. As a leader, set your standards high and insist your people measure up. This is also stated in the professional development guide.

Neglecting performance feedback is detrimental, just like the parent not communicating with the child who does not succeed in life. Supervisors play a vital role in the success of Airmen — avoid becoming the “detached supervisor.”

Airmen may succeed without you, and learn from your bad supervision, but strive for excellence and set up your Airmen for success.

I’m always striving to improve and become a better Senior NCO and actively play a role in the success of Airmen. As mom stated — average isn’t going to cut it and I continue to pass that along to my troops.

After my first EPR, all my remaining EPR’s have been a five. In my professional development, my college cumulative GPA is a 3.8.

Like my supervisor emphasized, excellence is the standard. Doing your job and going home isn’t enough. Be the difference you want to see in the world. You are a part of something bigger than yourself, so set the example and be involved, because someone is always watching.

As a part of the United States Air Force, stand strong and live up to the challenge. Excellence in all we do!




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


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force Photo by 2nd Lt. Lacey Roberts)

Arizona Airmen memorialize fallen Iraqi fighter pilot

Members of the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing honored the life and memory of Iraqi Air Force Brig. Gen. Rasid Mohammed Sideeq Hasan during a memorial service here July 7. Hasan died June 24 after his F-16 Fighting Fa...
 
 

Deployed A-10s take to the skies

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano) An aircraft maintainer assigned to the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron inspects the oil levels of an A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft engine during a theater security package deployment to Lask Air Base, Poland, July 13. The U.S. and Polish air forces will conduct training aimed at...
 
 

Airmen leverage TFI concept

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – Thirty-eight service members, including individuals from the 944th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal section, participated in a Battlefield Forensics training course here at the end of June. Together, Senior Master Sgt. Stephen Hunter, 944th Civil Engineer Squadron EOD program manager and Joshua Nason, General Dynamics Information Technology ...
 

 

Celebration and education; Equal Opportunity

  In 1948, Ester Blake became the first enlisted female in the U.S. Air Force, pictures were still black and white, and families gathered around radios for the evening news. Since then, the U.S. Air Force has gone through many changes. The Davis-Monthan Equal Opportunity office specializes in making sure that everyone is treated equally...
 
 
DoD

Final rule puts more teeth into Military Lending Act

  WASHINGTON – The Defense Department today closed loopholes to protect U.S. men and women in uniform from predatory lending practices, President Barack Obama said this morning at the 116th Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The heightened level of financial and consumer-rights protection against unscrupulous practices, called the final rule of...
 
 

AF continues to work with DOD, OPM on cybersecurity incident

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force maintains its commitment to protect personal information from cyber threats by continuing efforts with the Defense Department and the Office of Personnel Management to assist those impacted by the recent cyber incident involving federal background investigation data. OPM and an interagency response team, including investigators from the FBI and...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>