Commentary

May 9, 2014

Professional Development – It’s Everyone’s Responsibility

Chief Master Sgt. Thomas B. Mazzone
MacDill AFB, Fla.

The U.S. Air Force requires much of us these days, and members of our profession of arms are busy meeting these demands.

We must ensure we’re not too busy to ignore our responsibility of continually developing each other.

Mentoring, feedback sessions and counseling are all forms of professional development, often leading us to the thought that it’s “top down” communication only.

However, “peer-to-peer” and “bottom-up” communication provides information just as relevant, and sometimes even more important. As the MacDill command chief, I’m afforded several opportunities to speak with all tiers of our force structure. I’m constantly amazed how much I learn from each of these engagements, whether I’m speaking with young Airmen or senior leaders.

What do you do with what you learn? Do you share it?

Of course we should! We should spread the word as wide as possible. Part of being a good wingman is always striving to develop other Airmen, allowing them to side-step the “landmines” in their career paths.

Throughout my years of service I’ve learned that the rank and age of an Airman giving me advice doesn’t matter. What matters is the fact they were looking out for me, saving me from those “landmines,” and permitting me to help develop others. If I don’t use what I’ve learned to continually advance the Airmen within my scope of influence, then I fail as a leader. More importantly, I’d fail those who tried helping me. I’m not going to do that…neither should you!

Make and take the opportunities to provide and receive professional development whenever possible, enabling continuous progression.

Sharing your experiences with others shows your commitment to their development. It also shows your level of compassion, letting them know you’ve been down a similar road before. Being open-minded to the experiences of others and using the information appropriately is exactly how you side-step the “landmines.” Pretty soon, you’ll be leading the next group through the safe path. The positive impacts of assisting someone through a career decision expand well beyond that person. Your influence is boundless.

The advice I give today has a foundation set many years ago. My superiors, peers and subordinates vectored me well. They did a fantastic job of providing me opportunities to soar while keeping me grounded and focused when necessary. I try to use similar methods in developing others for continued success.

As you go further in your career, there’ll be a time when it seems as though you’re dispensing more advice than receiving it.

Trust me, it’s a misconception. If others continually seek your guidance, it’s because you’re still actively receiving guidance.

That’s important, because it shows you’re not afraid to ask questions, especially in an effort to benefit others. Remember, nobody knows everything, but everyone knows something. Leverage that, and continually expand your network of knowledge throughout our Total Force, developing those who develop others.

Don’t let the demands of our profession get in the way of developing the Airmen following in our footsteps. Show them the way. Lead them through the mine field. Lead ‘em!




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


 
 

 

Honest answers to sexual assault myths

As Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month comes to a close, I want to take the opportunity to address three persistent myths regarding the Air Forceís Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program. These myths include a commanderís ability to start, stop or otherwise hinder a sexual assault investigation; what agencies can take a sexual assault...
 
 
disaster-prep

Emergency Management reminds folks to ‘Be Ready’

The recent devastating earthquake in Nepal can serve as a†reminder to California residents that the state is prone to earthquakes. With that said, Edwards Emergency Management is encouraging base personnel and residents to be...
 
 

Upcoming classes at Edwards Family Advocacy

Edwards AFB Family Advocacy has several classes available to help members of Team Edwards and their families. Below is a list of classes available in the next month. Relaxation 101 This training will add “tools to your toolbox” to enhance your ability to relax and identify when you are stressed. It is a three part...
 

 

Edwards community holds first town hall meeting for 2015

Air Force photograph by Edward Cannon Col. Eric Leshinsky, 412th Mission Support Group commander, addresses base residents and personnel during the first semi-annual Edwards AFB Town Hall meeting which was held April 22 at the Airman and Family Readiness Center. The meeting included briefings from the 412th Force Support Squadron, 412th Security Forces Squadron, Army...
 
 

Please don’t thank me for my service

The other day a good friend and mentor, a retired AF Master Sergeant, sent me a message made up of a few simple words. Words that we, folks who wear a military uniform, may be accustomed to … “Thank you for your service.” I don’t know about you, but I am very uncomfortable when people...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

AGE Flight gets Air Force weapons loaders out of a jam

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber The nuclear-certified MHU-83 D/E Lift Truck received new wiring after the 412th Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment Flight discovered a defect in the manufacturing. True to a te...
 




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>