Commentary

February 15, 2013

Leadership style must fit Airman

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Master Sgt. KATHERINE MAHANA
56th Security Forces Squadron

Master Sgt.
Katherine Mahana

All of us have encountered different leadership styles in our careers. I believe different leadership styles work for different types of Airmen. We continue to grow as a diverse force every day and the only way to lead Airmen is to adjust your leadership style to them.

Leading Airmen is the most rewarding accomplishment in my career. Every day they teach me ways to improve my leadership styles. As I observe my life I see I use leadership in everything I do on both personal and professional sides.

Our young Airmen who will be entering the next two tiers have a challenging path ahead of them, but the leadership they are under now will help prepare them for the obstacles that lie ahead.

Airmen must continue to be resilient and start building a tool box with the lessons they receive now. We all train our replacements by leading them to the best of our ability, and in turn those we lead must do the same.

This even includes bad leadership. My hero, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, put it best, “You learn far more from negative leadership than positive leadership, because you learn how not to do it.”

For those of you who have not seen the movie “Lincoln,” I highly recommend it. Daniel Day-Lewis does an excellent job of emulating the passion President Lincoln had leading this country.

One of the greatest things about President Lincoln was his courage. Even though he may have been afraid, he showed true courage by going ahead and doing his job knowing he would have people go against him. Sadly, he lost his life, but I guarantee he wouldn’t change a thing had he known it was going to happen. Can you say that about your leadership style? I can.

“Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.” General Schwarzkopf




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