Commentary

October 4, 2013

Make it personal

Maj. DAVID LEMERY
56th Component Maintenance Squadron Commander

In my opinion, leadership is most effective when it is personal. In a large organization, it is difficult to have a personal connection with everyone. Your personal leadership sphere of influence may be limited to one or two layers deep, but if they in turn made personal leadership a priority, it would drill down to the lowest level of the organization. It is worth your time to sit down one on one with your sphere and discuss topics like why they joined the Air Force, where are they from, favorite sports teams, hobbies, future goals, current concerns, family situation, etc.

It is important to know what makes each individual tick. Not everyone responds to the same techniques. If you think about it like a personal fitness trainer, some people need to be brought along slowly, some people need positive reinforcement, some people need to be fired up, and some people like to prove others wrong when told they can’t do something. Personal leadership operates the same way where no one technique will get the most out of 100 percent of your people. You can frame your priorities within the context of each of your people and then set them free to execute the mission.

In general, I have found that people respond best to someone who they know cares about them and respects them as an Airman. Leaders are put in leadership roles to serve and not to be served. The golden rule still works in today’s Air Force. Respect works far better than fear. We should respect our Airmen enough to offer kindness, not weakness, while still providing honest feedback both good and bad. As leaders, we cannot succeed without knowing that we need others to accomplish the mission. Your Airmen will feel more comfortable asking for help from someone who knows them versus a “stranger” in the organization. The last book I read was “Love Does” by Bob Goff. One of the ideas that stood out to me was that with people, you don’t always need a plan; you just need to be present in their lives. Your personal leadership plan involves your personal time and that is where great things can happen.

While getting to know your people is a priority, knowing yourself is just as important. Self-reflection is a continuous process but one of the keys to personal leadership. You need to think about who you are at your core and how you are leading your Airmen. Your humble assessment of yourself will assist in setting you on the right vector.

Dream big and prepare your Airmen to do the same. The biggest downside to personal leadership is that it hurts that much more if the person fails, but I believe that they are less likely to fail and the reward far outweighs the risk anyway.




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


 
 

 

Fly, fight & win! Luke plays unique role in AF mission

The mission of the Air Force is to fly, fight and win. The Air Force’s “motto,” as it was originally called, was adopted October 2010. Capt. Gregroy Bollrud of Hurlburt Field Florida, wrote, “It succinctly captures what our Air Force has been renowned for ever since its creation in 1947. Also, the specific choice of...
 
 

Wingman for life

“I look after my wingman. He looks after me. We work together. We fight together.” — Col. Gabby Gabriski, WWII ace Having a wingman has been an essential part of combat flying since the beginning. A wingman is able to watch your “6,” provide support and can offer a different perspective on a situation. These...
 
 

Chaplain’s thoughts

President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation on Oct. 23, 1863, which established Thanksgiving Day as a national observance. The proclamation highlighted the prosperity and expansion of the country even while it was engaged in civil strife. It acknowledged that no foreign country had used the civil war as an opportunity to “provoke their aggressions.” Lincoln’s...
 

 
Interstellar_7

Fly Over: ‘Big Hero 6′ and ‘Interstellar’

In theaters: ‘Big Hero 6′ It was bound to happen: when the entertainment juggernaut Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel, it was only a matter of time before a mash-up movie was produced. “Big Hero 6,” produced b...
 
 

AF needs Airmen to maintain identity

Some of us may remember playing the pool game “Marco-Polo.” Some of us may still use this game to entertain our children at the pool today. One player closes his or her eyes and repeatedly shouts out “Marco” while the other players tread water and respond “Polo.” All the while, they attempt to shift quickly...
 
 

New evaluation system calls for accountability

It seems that everyone is overly concerned with the new evaluation system the Air Force is releasing. We should ask ourselves if it is really that scary to have an assessment which fits each of us in a more realistic way. This new system is going to hurt a lot of egos when they are...
 




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