Commentary

November 16, 2012

A mentoring moment: What’s your motivation?

Tags:
Col. YOLANDA BLEDSOE
56th Medical Group


What gets and keeps you going? Another way to ask this question is what motivates you?

I firmly believe that when we know why we do something, we can use that as a compass to accomplish more. Knowing what motivates us will help us achieve our goals, both personal and professional.

Growing up, many of us were raised to believe that being successful equaled being driven, goal oriented and to be the best at everything we did. As soon as you accomplished one goal, you set your sights on the next or bigger goal. So, when I first joined the military, I was motivated by several things: becoming an obstetrical gynecological nurse, the need to repay student loans and the need to provide for myself/family. As you can see all of the things that motivated me were externally driven and centered on academic success and earning money or what it could provide for me and my family.

During my first eight years in the military, that motivation kept me moving through the ranks. I became a very competent nurse; paid my student loans and provided for my blossoming family. But something was missing. I could be a nurse anywhere; why had I chosen to be an Air Force nurse?

Luckily for me I had a mentor, a line officer, who challenged me to explore what motivated me to be an Air Force nurse. That journey began a long time ago, but led me on an amazing journey of self-discovery and personal leadership. During that time I realized that one phrase and five simple words defines what motivates me to be what I’ve become. That phrase is “I care,” or these five simple words: Impression, Commitment, Attitude, Responsibility and Enthusiasm. These have been my internal motivation for the last 15 years. “I CARE” motivates me every day. At first blush you would think it’s because I am a nurse, but it has more to do with recognizing that I am an officer first.

As an officer in the Air Force, I represent more than just the nursing corps; I represent the profession of arms. So, whether I am on or off duty, in my uniform or civilian clothes, taking care of a patient or being a commander, I always want that Impression to be positive and representative of our Air Force core values.

As a member of the profession of arms, I am Committed, not just to providing excellent healthcare to our patients, but also to mentoring Airmen to be the absolute best they can be as we serve together in our all-volunteer force of sacrifice and service to this great nation.

I have also learned as I moved through my career that no matter what may be happening, positive or negative in life, we all have the power to choose our Attitude each day, so make it positive. Your Airmen and coworkers will appreciate it. After all it takes fewer muscles to smile and speak to people than it does to frown and be grumpy every day. Try it; it will definitely improve your day and many other people’s day as well.

As you continue to move forward in your career, learn to embrace additional Responsibility. I know that seems like adding more work to your plate, because your supervisor or commander offers you additional responsibility. However, they are truly opportunities to excel, not only because you lead teams, complete projects and become better Airmen, but just take a moment and realize the amount of trust, faith and confidence your supervisor has in you. We should all be prepared to excel when given additional responsibility.

Finally, Enthusiasm is a force multiplier. As a leader, your positive energy, excitement and passion will inspire creativity and excellence in everything you and your Airmen do every day.

So, what gets and keeps me going? What motivates me? “I CARE” about being an Air Force officer; that’s what motivates me. It is amazing that my mentoring moment, although it happened as a captain 15 years ago, has been instrumental in enhancing my personal and professional leadership skills, and in increasing my happiness. It has shaped me and how I approach every task, opportunity, and most importantly, every day. So, I ask you … what gets and keeps you going? What motivates you?




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


 
 

 
Courtesy photo

EOD called out for expertise

Courtesy photo The 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team recovers military ordnance July 4 from the rubble of a burnt down building at an auto repair facility in Phoenix. The Luke EOD team recovered nume...
 
 

Strong followers challenge authority

It’s not surprising that when I tell subordinates to challenge authority, I often get a look of confusion. Admittedly, this is a step used to provoke thought. Obviously, we don’t need subordinates undermining their leader’s authority. My intent is not to create insubordination — it is to underscore the importance of strong followership. Great leaders...
 
 

Travel access, opportunities not to be ignored

Possibly one of the greatest and overlooked gifts we have in the military is our ability to travel. More often than not, we are stationed at bases around the world where we have the access and opportunity to travel and see the local sites. However, it happens way too often that we ignore those opportunities....
 

 
Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann

Thunderbolt joins elite Thunderbirds

Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, took this photo March 15 during Luke Air Force Base’s Open House and Air Show. She had no idea at the time that just a few months later she would b...
 
 

News Briefs July 25, 2014

Wanted: Airmen selfie videos The Air Force wants to hear from Airmen with unique stories about what led them to the Air Force, who are proud of their job and how it impacts the Air Force mission, or work in an exceptional unit. The 2014 American Airman Video Contest is open to all Airmen who...
 
 

Thunderbolt of the Week

Airman 1st Class Anna Valdez 56th Contracting Squadron Contracting specialist Hometown: Moscow Years in service: One Family: Husband, Phil; mother, Natalia; and father, Oleg Education: Russian State University of Trade and Economics bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics Inspirations: My parents demonstrated excellence and success in a loving environment, taught me to never give up...
 




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