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.


 
 

 

My personal leadership philosophy

My personal leadership philosophy can be summed up in just a few words — people first, mission always. Some may mistake the phrase “people first, mission always” as a dictum to coddle unit personnel through adversity, but actually, my focus is on preparing them to overcome adversity. The mission will always press on, but without...
 
 

Work, family balance success marker

“Being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.” — Zig Ziglar In our careers, we frequently hear about the importance of having balance in our life and job. Some common...
 
 
image001

It’s a way of life

Maj. Ronald Marquez Air Force Instruction 1-1 Paragraph 1.5 states, A way of life. “The mission must be accomplished.” Luke AFB is taking a small break from that mission, back-to-back four-day weekends for some. This means ...
 

 
600-Jesus-Nativity504

Chaplain’s thoughts …

Courtesy graphic Do we have the humility and strength to hear the truth from those beneath us? “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field … All they that heard it wondered at those things which were ...
 
 
a-million-ways-to-die-in-the-west-dvd_600

Fly Over: ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’ and ‘Home Alone′

On DVD: ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’ I love Westerns, both dramatic and comedic, and I was eager to watch this movie with the tagline “From the guy who brought you ‘Ted.’” That alone should have been ...
 
 

Gratitude cultivates exceptional leadership

Several months ago I was inspired by the phrase “cultivate an attitude of gratitude.” The topic was presented in a religious context; however, I found these words significant and profound when considered as a tenent of exceptional leadership. Cultivate is an action verb. The word brings to mind images of an experienced gardener patiently tending...
 




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