How many of us have attempted to withdraw money from an ATM and received an “insufficient funds” response? We all know that in order to receive money from an ATM, money must be deposited into the account. I was once asked to compare my Air Force career to a bank account. I was asked to consider how many deposits I made compared to the number of withdrawals.
For instance, have you ever complained about having to stay at work an extra 30 minutes or an hour, and then wanted time off for personal business? Have you ever turned down a challenging opportunity because it was going to take too much of your time and then enjoyed the benefits of the work someone else put into that opportunity?
You may not realize it, but it can be the small things that speak volumes about someone’s character.
In today’s Air Force we are all volunteers. None of us were drafted against our will. We are being asked to give more and more using fewer resources. Putting the minimum into your Air Force account will not get you far when the day comes that you need to make a large withdrawal.
People, especially your leadership, notice when Airmen around them are willing to do more or when they try to avoid doing more. As competitive as our Air Force is becoming, do not feel you have the right to be entitled because you report to work usually on time and do your job to the best of your ability when it suits you.
Take a minute to consider what you have done for your fellow Airmen, your leadership, the Air Force. No matter what your rank, you are a leader. Are you setting a positive example for those around you, or are you reaping the benefits of the hard work of those around you, while complaining at the same time? Do not be “that Airman” who tries their very hardest to get out of a deployment, but wants the squadron commander to endorse a special-duty assignment.
So the next time you want to ask for that letter of recommendation for an open position at the wing, request to leave work early, or represent the unit at the next conference, ask yourself if you have made enough deposits in your Air Force account to afford that withdrawal.