Commentary

July 20, 2012

Outcomes successful when everyone knows ‘Big Picture’

by Chief Master Sgt. Bill Peck
56th Maintenance Group

When I enlisted in the Air Force 29 years ago, I didn’t really know my organization’s overall mission. At the time I didn’t understand what my leaders or the organization were trying to achieve. I was but one small cog in a large machine. I thought all I needed was to do what I was told, do a good job and all would be well.

But as time went by, I got promoted and could no longer just do what I was told. I now had to lead and manage people.

At first, I was simply passing along the things my bosses told me needed to get done. I began to realize that if I was going to be telling people what to do, I had better understand why I was telling them to do it. I needed to know and have a stake in my organization’s goals and understand how they fit into the bigger picture. I also needed to make my Airmen understand so they knew how their work contributed to the unit’s mission.

Back in 1991 while assigned to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., I was working on the flightline on a Friday night reconfiguring F-16s.

We had just downloaded the pods and bombs off the aircraft in preparation for the following week’s flying schedule. Just as we were finishing up and preparing to go home for the weekend, a call came in from Ops stating they needed all the pods and bombs back on the aircraft for Monday.

As you can imagine, we were not pleased. My supervisor headed off to Ops to fight the good fight but came back shortly and told us we had to reload the aircraft. Now he simply could have made us do it without telling us why, but he explained that there was a particular laser-guided bomb that had never been operationally tested with the LANTIRN targeting pod and that it was planned to be employed in Operation DESERT STORM shortly. Needless to say, we reloaded the aircraft, the test was successful and the bombs hit their targets.

Having the bigger picture made a huge difference in our attitudes on that long Friday night, and the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that came with knowing we directly contributed to the larger mission made it all worthwhile.

So think about that the next time you have to tell your Airmen to do a job that may not make sense to them. I’m not saying you have to explain every order or direction you give to them, but in those situations where it may not seem to pass the logic test, explaining why a task needs to be done and how it contributes to the overall mission can pay huge dividends in the attitudes and productivity of your people.

All of us contribute to the mission. Take the time to let your Airmen know how they fit into the “Big Picture.”




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


 
 

 

The gift of leadership

Gen. Mark Welsh III may have said it best, “Leadership is a gift. It’s given by those who follow. You have to be worthy of it.” As the people of this nation give their children up to serve in the armed forces we as leaders need to be ready to lead them as they are...
 
 

Have faith in Air Force system

Throughout our Air Force careers, we have all received extensive training covering the Air Force core values — integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. We talk about them on a daily basis in one capacity or another using them as buzz words to drive our point home or steer a...
 
 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

Mercy and a Romanian MP Last year while deployed to a NATO base in Afghanistan, a Romanian military police officer stopped my chaplain assistant and me for passing a bus that had pulled off the road. He came to the window and said, “You can’t overtake bus. ID and vehicle papers, please.” Since I was...
 

 
FO_Dark_Souls_II_cover

Fly Over: ‘R.I.P.D.’ and ‘Dark Souls II’

On Netflix ‘R.I.P.D.’ R.I.P.D. stars Ryan Reynolds (Det. Sgt. Nick Walker), Kevin Bacon (Det. Lt. Bobby Hayes), Jeff Bridges (Roycephus “Roy” Pulsipher), Stephanie Szostak (Julia) and Mary-Louise Parker (R.I.P.D. Chief ...
 
 

Planning for your future equals success

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” ~ William Arthur Ward Success does not happen accidentally, it takes detailed planning and a vision of the future. I remember the day before I left for basic military training, I tried to imagine what my future...
 
 

Tuition assistance — a great benefit

In my opinion, tuition assistance is one of the best benefits that we as active-duty military members have available. During my 17 years in the Air Force, I have seen this benefit increase from 75 percent of tuition being paid to 100 percent. Additionally, most of us experienced this benefit being eliminated for a short...
 




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