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.


 
 

 
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