Commentary

September 20, 2013

There’s value in the struggle

Lt. Col. MATT LILJENSTOLPE
56th Training Squadron

I was watching a video of a motivational speech a few weeks ago and the speaker kept saying the same phrase over and over, “There’s value in the struggle.” In the weeks that have followed, I have found myself echoing those words many times.

As an Air Force and a Luke Air Force Base community, we find ourselves in challenging times. The Air Force is in the midst of a cultural change, and Luke will soon bed down a new F-35 mission while at the same time we will transfer half of the wing’s F-16 mission to Holloman. The combined unit inspection is fast approaching, and all of that on top of our everyday mission, at its best, is challenging.

I have no doubt that both Luke AFB and the Air Force will get through all of these challenges with flying colors, stronger than before and better equipped and trained to answer our nation’s call.

However, I also have no doubt that along the way we will stumble, we will at times fail and most assuredly we will make mistakes. In short, we will struggle. If it is truly our collective goal to achieve excellence in all that we do, the worst thing we can do is to shy away from the struggle. For it is only through our struggles that we eventually discover the pathways to our success. That is to say, there’s value in the struggle.

As we move forward into the next few months and next few years, let’s focus on how we will discover our problems instead of worrying about whether we’ll make a mistake along the way. When problems are discovered, let’s strive for cooperation and agreement on the solution, instead of focusing on where to assign blame. There’s value in the struggle.

Leaders, be receptive to subordinates who ask the hard questions. Keep an open mind about what they think and see. You may find that your own insight isn’t always as keen as you think. There’s value in the struggle.

Airmen, have the courage to walk into the boss’s office with your mistakes as well as your solutions. It takes guts to do both. You are the expert. You are the best trained and equipped Air Force in the world. Therefore, you are the only one that can fix the problems you uncover. There’s value in the struggle.

Discovering problems in your squadron or inefficiency in your processes is a good thing. It shows that you are paying attention and that you care. It’s truly the first step to becoming a better team. There’s value in the struggle.

In conclusion, while prepping to write this article I came across this quote from American patriot and famed Revolutionary War author Thomas Paine, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly … I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow.” To paraphrase, I think all he was trying to say is there’s value in the struggle.




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


 
 

 
Grace Lee

Pilot saves six Marines earning him the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor

Grace Lee Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, pins the Air Force Combat Action Medal onto Capt. Aaron Cavazos, 61st Fighter Squadron weapons officer, Jan. 16 in Club Five Six at Luke Air Force Base. Cavazos was...
 
 

Financial responsibility — vital to readiness

In the “Band of Brothers” miniseries, there is a line in the movie where the soldiers are told to make sure they sign up for life insurance to ensure their next-of-kin gets $10,000 upon the soldier’s death. While none of us are about to make a combat jump in 1944 to fight the Nazis, Airmen...
 
 

Adapt, overcome, succeed

Change is inevitable, especially in today’s Air Force. If you’ve been serving for more than a few years, it’s likely you’ve experienced everything from new physical fitness requirements to the implementation of force management programs. Enlisted performance reports and feedback forms have been altered and changes to the promotion system are rapidly approaching. We expect...
 

 
Courtesy Photo

Chrach saves lives, earns recognition

Courtesy Photo Tech. Sgt. Steven Bruner, 56th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, and Chrach, 56th SFS MWD, pose for a photo in Afghanistan during their 2012 deployment. Chrach was recently awarded the 12th A...
 
 

News Briefs January 23, 2015

VH1 concert VH1 and sponsors supporting the event are hosting a Super Bowl Blitz concert featuring Fall Out Boy and Charli XCX at 5 p.m. Jan. 30 in Hangar 999 as a “Thank you” to those who serve in the U.S. military. Members of the Luke community are invited and the concert is free. Service...
 
 
Courtesy Photo

Civilian answers AF call, gets dream job

Courtesy Photo Senior Airman Kristina Inocencio, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron engineer technician, measures the distance from the tree to the building Jan. 15 during survey training at Luke Air Force Base. One of Inocencio’s ...
 




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