Commentary

December 6, 2013

How do we lead?

Lt. Col. DOM MARTIN
756th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

One of my favorite scenes from the movie “Independence Day” was the motivational speech by actor Bill Pullman. My wife pokes fun at me as I stop to watch it every time it comes on. As the president eloquently bellows his closing line, “Today is our Independence Day,” the background music builds to a perfectly timed crescendo and a thunderous applause is heard from the crowd.

To me, it is emotional, awe-inspiring, and worth watching again and again. That’s leadership right? At least that’s Hollywood leadership anyway.

Years ago I heard a quote by Vietnam War veteran and ace Steve Ritchie in response to a question about his favorite leader throughout his career. He stated very simply, “That’s easy. My commander in Vietnam, because of the person I became when I was around him.”

Now that is influence. That is inspiration. That is leadership. Of course he was talking about the late, great Robin Olds. An aviation legend, Olds was larger than life — a flamboyant, outspoken, handlebar mustache-laden hero.

Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Olds impacted everyone around him, simply by his mere presence. He made people want to be better. That is leadership.

Unfortunately, most of us don’t have screenwriters and the magic of cinema. And most of us aren’t Robin Olds. Fortunately however, you don’t have to be. You don’t need the audacity and flamboyance of a Robin Olds, or a Hollywood soundtrack and perfectly maintained hair to make an impact. You don’t need to be loud, aggressive, emotional or even extroverted to be a leader. In most cases, all you need to be is honest, courageous, trustworthy, and exhibit both character and competence. All you need to be is a positive example and have a good attitude. Lastly, all you need to be is you.

Every single day we come to work, every single day we wear this uniform, people watch what we do, from our most junior Airman to our most senior officer. So much more than the things we say, people watch what we do and our actions truly do speak volumes. How do we lead? Who we are determines that. But who we are is a choice that we make.

Real leadership stems from the choices we make. What will you choose?




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


 
 

 

Is being good, good enough?

In today’s Air Force can you settle with just being good? I say, “No.” With the Air Force executing the deepest force cuts since the end of the cold war with programs such as the Quality Force Review Board and the Enlisted Retention Board, what you do and how well you do it matters more...
 
 

Your career – as easy as 1, 2, 3

Oftentimes at retirements we hear the phrase, “This is one chapter in my life.” No matter what our goal is, whether it is to serve for four years or 20 years, each of us will leave the Air Force at some point. This leads to the question, “What does it take to have an Air...
 
 

This Week in History

July 20, 1969: Apollo XI On a hot July evening, my dad hauled our 12-inch portable black and white TV out onto the patio, where he grilled dinner. From that vantage point, my family watched the first manned landing on the moon and the first steps on the moon. Apollo XI launched Monday, 45 years...
 

 

Dollars and Sense

Many entry-level jobs are characterized by significantly low wages and unpredictable schedules. If you find yourself in this type of scenario, savings, second jobs, affordable loans and child care are all but impossible to arrange. Inescapable poverty changes the way we think about money and time, as short-term concerns glare so blindly that it’s almost...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Chaplain’s Thoughts

Courtesy photo John Wooden “There is no pillow as soft as a clear conscience.” ~ John Wooden How do you sleep at night? Are you so troubled with life and its situations that you find it hard to sleep? One of the best pieces...
 
 
FLYOVER-Memoirs-of-a-Geisha-movie-poster

Fly Over: ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ and ‘Return of the Living Dead’

On DVD: ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ It’s not every day you find a movie that is just as good as the book it’s made. With “Memoirs of a Geisha,” fans of the original novel and first-time viewers will not be disappo...
 




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