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.


 
 

 
Samuel Price

RMO, stakeholders keep eye on sky

Samuel Price The road used to get onto the Barry M. Goldwater Range lies beneath the running water July 9, 2014, that resulted from monsoon rains. With data from the additional recently installed weather stations, personnel wil...
 
 

Resource management — Doing more with less

Since I joined the Air Force in 1992, our manpower and resources have been gradually reduced with no obvious change to the mission we support. While this has been labeled “doing more with less,” I don’t believe we’re truly doing any more than we did when I entered the military 22 years ago. We seem...
 
 

Situational awareness

Throughout my career, the importance of situational awareness has been driven into my head. This became exceedingly clear to me when I landed in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia. It was March 17, 2003, about 48 hours until Operation Iraqi Freedom kicked off. We were busy building tents, making bunkers and preparing to execute the mission. Doing...
 

 

Air Force OSI agents prevent online exploitation of children

QUANTICO, Va. — Child sex crimes are not unique to any particular base but are a perpetual problem across the Air Force and society. Online exploitation of children continues to be a problem and is routinely investigated by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. As part of this effort, AFOSI field units have partnered...
 
 

News Briefs February 27, 2015

MDG appointment line upgrade Patients calling the 56th Medical Group at 623-856-2273 Wednesday afternoon to schedule an appointment may reach a busy signal and may have to call back if all booking agents are on the line with other callers. The queue function allowing patients to wait on hold for the next available booking agent...
 
 

Airmen get T-bolts to give blood, win award

Tech. Sgt. Alisa Frisch, 56th Medical Group unit training manager, and Capt. Sharlott Uriarte, 56th Medical Support Squadron, were among the top 3 percent of award-winning blood drive coordinators recently honored by United Blood Services, earning a Hero Award for providing the largest impact on the blood supply. Of the 1,080 organizations that sponsored blood...
 




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