Commentary

January 11, 2013

‘Lean forward’ to make a difference

How many times have you heard a soccer, baseball or football coach tell his players to lean forward? In my experience, a good coach will always provide this advice.

You may wonder, what makes this advice so important in sports? Leaning forward enables the player to be in a position that allows him or her to anticipate an action and quickly react to a play. Coaches, regardless of sport, are communicating how important it is to maintain control of the play and ultimately control of the game.

Control enables the team to synchronize its plan in tempo and timing to be in a position to win. It starts with leaning forward and it takes preparation. Before a player can effectively lean forward, he or she must know the rules of the game and must have the skill to create an opportunity to score or stop the opponent.

Similarly, in the military you also need to: know the rules and know your job, while working to do both well. Leaning forward begins with understanding the rules or procedures captured in Air Force instructions, technical orders or operations manuals. Along with your training, these documents define the boundaries and best practices you can employ to accomplish a specific task. They are not all inclusive.

The better you know your job, the greater the number of options you have available to solve a given problem. Your success, therefore, and that of your team is predicted on how hard you work at knowing your job.

Thomas Edison once said, “There is no substitute for hard work. I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.”

In order to lean forward against today’s challenges, it is extremely important to become a skilled technician or subject matter expert in your functional area. There are several benefits to knowing your job well.

The whole team benefits when everyone possesses the tools necessary to solve any problem quickly and decisively, and even more importantly, when you know your job inside and out.

This shared knowledge also allows the team to communicate with one another and focus on the core issue of the problem. It helps the team understand the complexity of the problem and to identify resources required to accomplish the task at hand. It increases the team’s ability to lean forward and control the situation. Once the situation is under control, the team becomes efficient as it is able to effectively prioritize tasks and minimize wasted time.

Our operational environment is becoming more complicated and complex. When you become a subject matter expert, you will notice an increase in your confidence as you lead and motivate your team. It is that confidence that drives mission accomplishment and your team’s ability to adapt to any situation. Whether faced with numerous challenges or complexity driven by technology, it is important now more than ever to lean forward. Only then can you quickly adapt to the situation and succeed in our process driven world.

In the same fashion a coach tells his players to lean forward, the Air Force also needs you to lean forward. As leaders, it is your responsibility to maintain your technical expertise and create the environment for the team to succeed. Know the rules, know your job and work hard at being good at both. Lean forward and take control of the situation and lead the team to success. Remember, you are ready and you can make the difference.

 




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


 
 

 

News Briefs August 28, 2014

Blood drive The next American Red Cross Blood Drive at Edwards AFB is 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sept. 3 in the Chapel 1 Annex. Both walk-ins and appointments are accepted. To make an appointment you may contact the blood drive coordinators:†Senior Airman Joe Hernandez at joe.hernandez.8@us.af.mil or Senior Airman Sarah Bird at sarah.bird.2@us.af.mil. You may also...
 
 

Notice of intention to appoint school board trustee

Due to a lack of sufficient candidates for the upcoming school board election for Trustee Area #2, Office B, the Board of Trustees of the Muroc Joint Unified School District intends to appoint a qualified individual to the Board of Trustees, pursuant to Education Code section 5326. Applicants must be 18 years of age or...
 
 

New paradigm aims to ‘zeroize’ sexual assault

Why does the U.S. Air Force need a Sexual Assault Awareness Month? Is it really a problem? Isn’t sexual assault more prevalent outside the military? Where do these statistics come from anyway? Is it realistic to aim for zero assaults? Thankfully, these outrageous questions represent the vestiges of a retreating mindset. A new paradigm aims...
 

 
nasa-obit

Former NASA Astronaut Steven Nagel, veteran of four shuttle flights, dies at 67

Former NASA astronaut Steven R. Nagel, who served as a mission specialist on his first space shuttle flight, pilot on his second and commanded his final two, died Aug. 21 after a long illness. He was 67 years old. After his las...
 
 
Air Force graphic by Rebecca Amber

Being prepared in earthquake country

Air Force graphic by Rebecca Amber For National Preparedness Month, this September, the Edwards AFB Office of Emergency Management is focusing on Califorina’s most prominent natural disaster – earthquakes. Throughou...
 
 
af-band

Air Force Band of the Golden West

  Travis Brass, the multi-talented brass group of the U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West will be performing in the area Sept. 5-7. Sept. 5, the group will be at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center, 26455 Rockwell ...
 




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>