Commentary

July 24, 2014

Is being good, good enough?

Commentary by Chief Master Sgt. James Cash Jr.
56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — In today’s Air Force can you settle with just being good? I say, “No.” With the Air Force executing the deepest force cuts since the end of the cold war with programs such as the Quality Force Review Board and the Enlisted Retention Board, what you do and how well you do it matters more now than ever before.

How well do you stack up? More importantly, can you say you don’t settle for good enough but strive to be great? To me, achieving individual greatness is a personal choice. Either you choose to be the best you can be, or you can choose to be good enough.

Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’t,” wrote that “Good is the enemy of great.” Let’s think about that for a minute. Collins wrote, “It is so easy to settle for good rather than striving to be great.”

For example, the Air Force does not have many great Airmen because we have so many good Airmen. In the U.S., there are not so great schools because there are so many good schools. So ask yourself, “What are you doing ‘good enough?’” Work performance? Writing EPRs? Mentoring? Leading? Relationships? Sometimes good enough is the answer, but it cannot be the answer for everything.

I believe the first step to achieving personal greatness starts with making it personal. Do not be afraid to choose to be great because you want to be great. Don’t be afraid to choose to go to college because you want to get an education. You cannot expect to reach your goals if you are making choices to just check off a box or because someone else wants you to make them. If your desire to be the best you can be is not rooted in the correct foundation, it will not stand up to the trials and rigor of your journey to be great. Making it personal is the vital first step.

Next, if you cannot be honest with yourself and admit things are not as good as they can be, they will never get better. For example, my daughter got a B in one of her courses on her report card. School has always come easy to her and she has always received exceptional grades. The reality in this case was she did not apply herself, yet she stood her ground stating that she did her best and her best was a B. Bottom line, she was not being honest or realistic with herself, but once she did, her grade quickly transitioned to an A. Now, apply this to a career development course exam or physical training test. How many settle for good enough? Think about an aircraft flight inspection, a military pay question, or a building air conditioner repair in July? You will quickly realize that good enough is not the answer.

The final step is to go out and do it. Make the change, challenge yourself to be better and strive for greatness. Here is where I must put in the disclaimer: this will be a tremendous effort. It will not be easy at first, and it will take time to see results. You must push to build one success at a time, push to get the ball rolling and with each success or revolution you will break through and build momentum that will generate results.

The good news is everyone can be the best they can be. There is no discrimination in being great. Remember, good enough is not what the Air Force needs. Good enough should not be the way to live your life.




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


 
 

 

The new fight: Writing cyber into the science of war

Every year, the Aspen Security Forum brings together the top minds in defense, intelligence and homeland security. This year, more than ever, the conversation is turning to cybersecurity – protecting computer networks and everything attached to them. Cyber is constantly changing the way conflicts and combat unfold. Here, former U.S. Navy Rear Adm. William Leigher offers insights...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Osakabe Yasuo)

Need help? Trust your ‘Shirt’

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Arizona — When young Airmen need help or are looking for guidance, a good place to start is with a senior NCO. Making it into the top 3 percent in the U.S. Air Force is a major accomplishment. Alt...
 
 

Local Briefs July 31, 2015

Sunset Horseback Ride August 8, 4 – 8 p.m. – Outdoor Rec Saddle up and enjoy a 2-hour sunset horseback ride through the Saguaro National Park.. Final deadline for sign-ups is July 31. Minimum age: 18. Cost of $25/person. Call 228-3736 for more information. White water rafting and camping Aug. 20 – 24 – Grand...
 

 
(Courtesy Photo)

A Q&A with Master Sgt. Jaime Lewis

The men and women of the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) welcomed a new First Sgt. in May. Master Sgt. Jaime M. Lewis, began his career in 2000 as an Aerial Porter, where he performed duties such as passenger services, car...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/ Master Sgt. Jeffrey Allen)

Relationship building by means of the F-16

  America’s stars and stripes and Arizona’s lone copper star always wave proudly at the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing. But it’s the adjacent flags of coalition-partners – from the pacific island-nat...
 
 

Military life: Separated, but not alone

  MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — As the dawn broke out over the mountains, I woke up to the sun peeping through my window. Once I got up I went straight to the kitchen to make my family breakfast yet in the back of my mind, all I could think about is how am I...
 




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>