Air Force

December 21, 2012

Leadership: Matter of ABCs

Master Sgt. LEE HARTWIG
756th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Leadership, depending on who you ask, can have many definitions. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines leadership as: “1. the office or position of a leader; 2. capacity to lead; and 3. the act or an instance of leading.” Wikipedia defines leadership as “organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal.” In a military environment, these are both good starting points but fall short of encompassing the essence of leadership. The following are my personal ABCs on leadership:

  • A – Apply the core values: One of the greatest pieces of advice I was given was from the fifth Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Robert Gaylor: “Everything I’ve ever needed to know to do my job I learned in basic military training …” In the context of a larger conversation, Gaylor was referring to our core values of integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. If the things you do and the decisions you make can be bench checked against the core values (and pass), then you are most likely on the right track.
  • B – Be consistent: One of the most common mistakes I see young supervisors and leaders make is not being consistent. Everything that comes out of your mouth should be a promise, and be as fair and impartial as you can.
  • C – Courage under fire: Have the moral courage to make tough calls and stand by them. Leaders rarely win the popular vote with 100 percent of their followers.
  • D – Delegate with confidence: Delegate and empower your Airmen. When appropriate, let them stand on their own two feet and allow them leadership opportunities early on.
  • E – Empathy: Becoming a young supervisor/leader does not cancel all the bonehead mistakes you have made along the way. In fact, they helped you gain experience and develop into the person you are today. Your subordinates will make mistakes as they grow and develop into young leaders. Don’t forget where you came from, and let your Airmen do their own growing up, when appropriate.
  • F – Follow through: Fire-and-forget leadership is one of the worst things you can do as a leader. The phrase “trust but verify” comes to mind here. Trust your Airmen, but verify. Is the job done right?
  • G – Goal setting: It is said that the difference between a dream and a goal is a deadline. Set high, but obtainable, goals and achieve them. If you don’t achieve your goal, then don’t change the goal. Instead, change the steps you use to reach that goal.

In every unit, there are leaders waiting to mentor our young Airmen and mold them into outstanding supervisors and leaders. Are you one of them?




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