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June 7, 2013

Thunderbolts lead by lightning

Luke Air Force Base Airmen gathered May 29 and 30 to attend a seminar hosted by the Lightning Leadership committee.

The kickoff to the Lighting Leadership initiative included two sessions daily, one for Airmen and one for NCOs.

Chief Master Sgt. David Staton, 56th Fighter Wing command chief, handpicked leaders from across base to be part of the Lightning Leadership team and host the event.

“I selected a group of senior NCOs to tackle this topic and come up with a plan,” he said. “I shared my concerns and charged them with developing a program to meet our need as a team.”

Staton said the purpose of the program is to ignite an attitude.

“My goal is to spark a desire within our enlisted ranks to step out of the shadows and be the leaders we’re not only required to be but need to be for the present and future success of our Air Force,” he said.

Senior Master Sgt. Angela Langhorne, 56th Maintenance Operations Squadron Training Flight superintendent, said being part of this group is one way she can give back to other Airmen.

“It is my moral obligation as a senior NCO to develop those around me and pass on the development that was given to me over the years,” she said.

Langhorne also said the event is not just about giving advice but also about putting time and effort into future leaders.

“We spend a lot of time telling people what to do and how to do it,” Langhorne said. “We don’t spend enough time showing those people effective ways of actually being an Airman so they are prepared to tackle each day.”

The sessions acted as an open forum for a discussion about leadership. Topics included how to define leadership, characteristics of a leader and management versus leadership.

Master Sgt. Samuel Simien, 56th Civil Engineering Squadron facility systems superintendent, led the discussion between Airmen and shared some of his past experiences.

“I learned how to be a good leader by watching other people fail,” Simien said. “You all have a much better opportunity to learn how to be a great leader than I did.”

Airmen were able to share ideas with the group about what they think a leader should be. Although there were varying ideas, one theme seemed to be consistent around the room.

A leader needs multiple qualities, said Airman 1st Class Treveon Williams, 56th Equipment Maintenance Group Aerospace Ground Equipment apprentice.

“A leader is someone who is willing to take control and is compassionate at the same time,” he said. “Someone who just tells people what to do is not a leader to me.”

At the end of the two-hour discussion a quote from the sixth president of the United States, John Quincy Adams, was shared with the group.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more – you are a leader.”




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