Commentary

June 7, 2013

What do you radiate?

Col. Daniel Smith

I am a believer in the power of positive influence. I buy into such phrases as “your attitude determines your altitude.” I have been the benefactor of being led by those who radiate positive vibes. Not in a heads in the clouds Pollyanna kind of way, but a glass half full … turn lemons into lemonade kind of way. I am driven by leaders that exhibit drive and motivation. Nothing seems to get them down. They find the silver lining and turn the dark clouds into success stories. Not every time, but some of the time — if not much of the time.

I have also had the opportunity to be led by leaders who were less than positive, somewhat cranky, and emanated a rather drab and derogatory air of influence. You can instantly tell the difference between the two.

With one who emanates positive influence and energy, your interactions are usually productive, fulfilling and motivating. You typically walk away from such interactions uplifted, confident and eager to go to work and get the job done. When you stumble or are down, these interactions are instructive and corrective at times, but you feel the support and confidence of this type of leader. You will do your best to accomplish the mission, not only for the sake of the mission, but because you don’t ever want to let this leader down.

By the same token, you could have done a spectacular job, accomplished the mission ahead of the rest, and won several awards, and yet, when you walk away from a boss with negative energy, you can feel depleted, deflated, depressed, angry or as if the very life has been sucked out of you. We have all had interactions with people who can burst a bubble or drain the life out of you in a heartbeat. (See “Dementors” in Harry Potter novels/movies).

During a squadron commander seminar, commanders were told, “You can never have a bad day.” The tone you set as a commander or leader will radiate through your entire domain of stewardship. Not ever having a bad day is a fairly tall order. I understand the concept, not showing you are having a bad day is probably the concept they were getting to. But perhaps it’s something more. Every individual emanates or radiates an influence on those around him. It is one of the beautiful things of being human. I found a quote by a revered leader name David O. McKay which delineates this idea;

 

“There is one responsibility which no man can evade; that responsibility is his personal influence. Man’s unconscious influence is the silent, subtle radiation of personality – the effect of his words and actions on others. This radiation is tremendous. Every moment of life man is changing, to a degree, the life of the whole world. Every man has an atmosphere which is affecting every other man. He cannot escape for one moment from this radiation of his character, this constant weakening or strengthening of others. Man cannot evade the responsibility by merely saying it is an unconscious influence. Man can select the qualities he would permit to be radiated. He can cultivate sweetness, calmness, trust, generosity, truth, justice, loyalty, nobility and make them vitally active in his character. And by these qualities he will constantly affect the world. This radiation, to which I refer, comes from what a person really is, not from what he pretends to be. Every man by his mere living is radiating either sympathy, sorrow, morbidity, cynicism, or happiness and hope, or any one of a hundred other qualities. Life is a state of radiation and absorption. To exist is to radiate; to exist is to be the recipient of radiation.”

 

Positive radiation, influence, energy, or qi (chee) if you desire, is a contagious, and powerful force in strengthening, and fostering successful relationships. It is only one element or attribute of a leader in the overall picture of leadership talent, techniques and attributes, but the force multiplying effect of positive radiation has a powerful impact for good on the entire family, organization or unit.

So positive radiation comes from two sources; from the central core of whom and what a person really is, and their mental attitude of how they are going to reflect that core in any given situation at any time. I remember during my tenure as an emergency medicine resident pulling into the driveway after a rather taxing, stressful, 36-hour shift of giving my all in the way of life saving, compassion rendering, soul stretching experiences, and I was about to pass the threshold into the sphere of influence where I have a powerful impact as a father and husband. I had tried to develop the habit of taking a minute to mentally decompress, to leave everything outside before I entered the home and into another arena where leadership, compassion and kindness were likely to be needed and absorbed. Although difficult, I was grateful for that exercise which helped develop an awareness of the importance of radiating a positive, good influence to the members of my household. I wasn’t perfect at it, (to which my family can surely attest), but I became very aware of its importance which helped me keep the influence I was radiating squarely on my radar.

In John C. Maxwell’s “Learning the 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader,” he quotes psychologist William James who says, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude of mind.” So positive radiation doesn’t only exist in the heart, but also in the mind.

Over time, a leader’s influence will start to be reflected in the composite attitude of those in their sphere of influence. I think this is why it was stressed to us that “you can never have a bad day.” In the realm of mission, leadership and community, the influence we radiate plays a larger role than one may realize. It says what you’re not saying. It is perceived and absorbed with or without your intention. Your personal radiation or influence is undertone to all you do, say, are, accomplish, lead and direct. How is your leadership radiating?




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


 
 

 

Air Force News – January 30, 2015

Arizona Members of Air Forces Southern military training team at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base were given the opportunity in December 2014, to teach the Defense Institute for Medical Operations train-the-trainer course focused on the Ebola virus to approximately 100 individuals from Latin American partner countries. Germany Airmen from the 37th Airlift Squadron, Ramstein Air Base,...
 
 

People First – January 30, 2015

Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. For the complete story, go to the web address listed at the end of the story. Summit offers...
 
 
10_20150121-F-TZ771-075

NFL Play 60

Michael Taylor, second child from right, son of Tech. Sgt. Brian Taylor, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron low observables craftsman, gives low-fives to NFL 2015 pro bowlers Jan. 21 at Luke Elementary School.   Matthew S...
 

 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” -George MacDonald, Scottish author and poet One can see the self-evident truth of this statement, for trust is earned through the actions and character of the person being trusted, while love can flow from a sense of ought-ness rather than a sense of merit. For...
 
 
DT_150122-F-VY794-455

NFL Pro Bowl players practice at Luke

Senior Airman Grace Lee Aqib Talib, Denver Broncos cornerback, assigned to Team Carter, signs footballs for fans at Luke.   Staff Sgt. Staci Miller J.J. Watt, Houston Texans defensive end, assigned to Pro Bowl Team Carter,...
 
 
American-Horror-Story

Fly Over: ‘Get On Up’ and ‘American Horror Story: Coven′

On DVD: ‘Get On Up’ Several months ago, I rushed to the theater to watch “Get On Up” the latest music biopic on the big screen. My expectations were high as I found a seat in the theater packed with fans waiting to see ...
 




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