Commentary

January 25, 2013

Be inspiring: observations about leadership

Capt. ANDREW HOEFFLER
56th Medical Operations Squadron

Many could say that the best leaders they’ve encountered were inspiring individuals. From religious icons to heads of state and military leaders, they all seem to have one common trait — they inspire others.

I have always been a history buff, specifically the history of the middle ages. As such, I belong to a very large international organization that is dedicated to education and recreation of that time period. One concept that is central to behavior within this organization is the notion of chivalry, which, as most know, is the code that knights were sworn to uphold.

Recently, I was part of a discussion about chivalry, when the question was posed, “What makes a person inspiring?” Ironically, I kept reflecting on my military career, recalling supervisors and other leaders in my life who I had observed. The answers that followed were varied, but all had some common themes. As we discussed it further, we were able to narrow the answers to a few simple ones: honesty and integrity, selflessness and exceptional effort.

If these three points seem familiar, it’s because they are also the foundation of our core values in the Air Force. I would like to expand on them from the perspective of chivalry, as I discussed it with my friends, and match it with our core values:

Integrity first: A knight always tells the truth, even if it means his death.

Are you honest in your personal and professional dealings? Do you do what is right, even when no one is looking? Do you do what is right, even if the personal cost is high?

Service before self: A knight always thinks of how his works can benefit others and seeks for the betterment of the whole, rather than his own station. Do you work for the people you supervise, or do they work for you? That is, does the work you do benefit those you supervise? Do you look out for their best interests in their careers and personal lives, or are you more interested in your own advancement? Ultimately, do you work for the good of the mission?
Excellence in all we do: A knight always gives more than what is asked of him. He exceeds others expectations of him in all he does.

In your military role as a leader, do you go beyond the minimum? Do you make the extra effort to excel? Do you seek to continuously improve yourself through education in your job or in general? Do you give your job more than what is asked?

Living a life of chivalry (the core values) doesn’t imply that you have to be a perfect knight (airman, NCO, or officer), just that you always try to do your best at meeting the values of chivalry in all you do. If you do, I guarantee you will be an inspiration to someone in your personal or professional life.




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


 
 

 
Pg-1-photo

Chief of staff visits Luke

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and his wife, Betty, spent time meeting with Airmen and leadership Monday at Luke Air Force Base. Welsh highlighted Airman health, wellness and quality of life activities. He also...
 
 

Mentoring fosters dreams, strengthens us

A few days ago while reading an online commander’s call, I came across an article dated Dec. 31, 2014, stating President Obama proclaimed the month of January 2015 National Mentoring Month. Although this topic is thoroughly discussed in our Air Force today, I felt compelled to write on its importance all the same. In a...
 
 

Have you joined the Air Force yet?

I enlisted into the Air Force in February of 1997. However, I didn’t join the Air Force until March of 1999. No, I’m not talking about the Delayed Enlistment Program. There was no doubt that after high school I would attend college. However, not having applied for any scholarships and realizing that I didn’t have...
 

 
Courtesy photo

Prevention training goes face-to-face

Courtesy photo Maj. Jennifer Tomlinson, Air Education and Training Command Medical Readiness Division deputy chief, serves as facilitator during the AETC Medical Services and Training directorate annual Air Force Suicide Preven...
 
 
Senior Airman
JAMES HENSLEY

Thunderbolt looks to future

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY Staff Sgt. Maddie Baker, 56th Dental Squadron acting commander secretary was an Air Force Honor Guard member prior to crossing over to the dental field. As the commander’s secretary, she plays a piv...
 
 

Tuskegee Airmen commemorated

The Archer-Ragsdale Arizona Chapter of Tuskegee Airman Inc. celebrated the 2nd Annual Tuskegee Airman Commemoration Day with a wreath ceremony Wednesday at the Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Air Park. The Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day is the result of legislation signed into law by former Arizona Governor Janice Brewer in 2013 and is the first such law...
 




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