Commentary

December 13, 2013

Be prepared

Col. CONSTANCE JACKSON
56th Medical Operations Squadron

Leading Airmen happens at every level and preparation is the key to success.

A couple of weeks ago I watched two Airmen lead the clinic through resiliency training. As I looked at the members of the family health clinic I felt many things. The medics unabashedly participated in the training led by two Airmen who have been in the Air Force less than three months collectively.

Throughout the training, I observed the faces of those participating and those leading the discussion, and the prevailing emotion I had was one of pride.

My awe was soon overtaken by thoughts of the time the Airmen must have spent preparing to lead their team in such an important discussion. It was clear that these Airmen took pride in what they were teaching and cared enough to prepare so that every detail was covered. Well planned tasks prove to be successful each and every time. We all should prepare to be prepared. But when does this preparation begin?

Preparation happens daily and there are many levels. We prepare for work by ironing our uniform the night before or pack our lunch for work the next day. At times you have to prepare months or years in advance in order to successfully complete the tasks. The medical group recently completed a health services inspection showcasing programs and processes employed in the delivery of healthcare. Prior to the inspection, senior NCOs, junior officers and senior leaders collected documents, ensured processes were in place and fine-tuned every program to capture the essence of what the medical group does on a daily basis. This took months of deliberate preparation. A great deal of planning, checking and re-checking occurred before the inspectors arrived. The highly prepared men and women of the medical group received an ‘outstanding’ on the inspection. This score did not happen by chance.

Preparation was key to our success.

This is but one example of preparation. Preparation has many faces. Completing career development courses and professional military education are required tasks to advance to the next level of proficiency and expanded leadership opportunities. Managing time and creating organizational skills will further prepare one for advanced leadership responsibility. Preparation may even come in the form of a volunteer opportunity by completing a project through which one grows and develops skills not previously possessed. Preparation can be as simple as reviewing documents prior to a meeting ensuring smooth progression of the meeting or looking ahead at the week’s events and ensuring all is in place for each one. In whatever form, preparation is one of the tenets to being a successful commander, a successful supervisor and an accomplished leader.

At the beginning of this opinion, I posed the question, when does preparation begin? As demonstrated by the young Airmen above, preparation begins when we enter into this great Air Force. I challenge you to improve the success of your tasks by preparing in advance. Spend the time learning and excelling in your craft and you will create discipline along the way. Take the time to learn your heritage and develop good Airman qualities. It’s of the utmost importance that you manage well your most valuable commodity – your time. So when the opportunity finally comes to lead, you will excel and create a great product because you have taken the time to prepare.

Being a leader, a commander is an honor. To do the job justice, to honor those whom we lead and those who selected us — preparation is the first step.




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


 
 

 

Let’s be an all-volunteer force

Well, we made it through the holiday season. Hopefully we have all reset and are ready to rock and roll this year. By now we should be well into fulfilling the New Year’s resolutions that we set in place to improve ourselves. I’m sure you are hitting the gym more or maybe just starting to....
 
 

Stay out of rain; see bigger picture

Supervisors, you build and lead teams to the best of your abilities. You hold an umbrella of protection over your people, but what do you do when one of your members runs into the rain via a bad decision? Do you take your protective umbrella from other members to go cover your solo member? Or...
 
 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” -George MacDonald, Scottish author and poet One can see the self-evident truth of this statement, for trust is earned through the actions and character of the person being trusted, while love can flow from a sense of ought-ness rather than a sense of merit. For...
 

 
American-Horror-Story

Fly Over: ‘Get On Up’ and ‘American Horror Story: Coven′

On DVD: ‘Get On Up’ Several months ago, I rushed to the theater to watch “Get On Up” the latest music biopic on the big screen. My expectations were high as I found a seat in the theater packed with fans waiting to see ...
 
 

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...
 




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