Commentary

March 27, 2012

Leadership is action, not position

Master Sgt. Scott Harris

I recently read a quote in an article that I believe defines a true leader. The quote is from Donald H. McGannon and says, “Leadership is action, not position.”

This phrase epitomizes my leadership philosophy; specifically, I feel people are leaders by virtue of what they do, not the authority they are given or the duty title or position they hold.

There are three basic principles that good leaders understand, portray and achieve.

First, the mission is number one, but people come first. Second, standards are the same for all, but discipline is different for everyone. Third, balance is very difficult to achieve, but striving for it is required.

What I mean by “mission is number one, but people come first” is quite simple. Even though the mission is our number one priority, people make it happen. Therefore, it is a leader’s responsibility to put people first, to serve them, not the other way around. I am not suggesting that people will not have to make personal sacrifices to accomplish the mission. On the contrary, high work ethics, significant accomplishments and, at times, sacrifices are expected.

With that being said, leaders are to do absolutely everything possible within their power to make the quality of life of their personnel as comfortable as possible. That is only possible if they know their squadron members on a personal level. It is important to know people not only as Airmen but for the people they are and the things and people that affect their lives.

Second, meeting standards are a must. Regardless of personal beliefs, standards are standards; they are not difficult to maintain, and either they are met or they are not. When standards are not met, it is the duty of a leader to correct those members.

Although standards are the same for everyone, discipline is not. There are always variables at play such as, is there a pattern of misconduct, how has the member’s duty performance been, what options are available and how will they impact the member’s career, and what is the lowest level of discipline that will correct the behavior. Other members do not always know all the circumstances and variables at play, but need to know the discipline action will be fair and consistent.

Third, although balance is nearly impossible to achieve, striving for it is required. I think we all work better if we have spiritual, physical and emotional balance, feel good about the work we do every day, are recognized and feel like we are making a difference in the big scheme of things. Although we will not be able to strike balance in all things, we must always try. It is good for us, our families, our productivity and the Air Force.

Chapter 10 of the Air Force Pamphlet 36-2241, Professional Development Guide, discusses the art of leadership and the many qualities a good leader should possess. Are you doing the right thing at the right time the right way and for the right reason? If you can say yes, you are a leader. Be a leader, not just a title or position holder.




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


 
 

 

Comprehensive support system helps unit resiliency

In today’s Air Force environment of force restructure, budgetary constraints, continued mission requirements and resiliency, establishing a comprehensive support system in a unit is absolutely essential for success. Each organizational tier, whether at the element, flight or squadron level, must be resilient and have support mechanisms in place to not only meet, but exceed daily...
 
 

Preparing for next rank makes successful Airmen

As Airmen we have many responsibilities and duties we must carry out in accordance with our jobs. According to AFI 36-2618, The Enlisted Force Structure, our responsibilities are as follows: junior enlisted Airmen initially focus on adapting to military requirements, achieving occupational proficiency and learning how to become highly productive members of the Air Force....
 
 

Dollars and Sense

Want a copy of your leave and earning statement? LESs for separated or retired Air Force service members are not available from myPay. Requests must be sent via email to the Military Pay Historical Records Branch at ampo-verify-les-@dfas.mil or fax to 317-275-0123. For more information on the data required for the request, go to the...
 

 
Oculus-movie-poster

Fly Over: 43rd Express Vietnamese Restaurant, and ‘Oculus’

Eating out: 43rd Express Vietnamese Restaurant For those who don’t know me, I’m a big foodie. I love trying different foods from a variety of cultures, but my favorite is Asian cuisine. Being in Arizona, where the Asian pop...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Chaplain’s Thoughts

Courtesy photo Reinhold Niebuhr “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.” ~ Reinhold Niebuhr Continuing with the theme of wisdom ...
 
 

Three steps to avoid ‘toxic leadership’

Toxic leadership. Sadly, this term has recently become vogue in the lexicon of the Defense Department to describe leaders possessing unfavorable leadership characteristics and whose actions eventually rot an organization from the inside out. Examples of these leaders drape across the weekly headlines and sound bites of newspapers, radio and television. “Leaders” who become drunk...
 




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