Commentary

June 6, 2014

Are you up for the challenge?

Senior Master Sgt. SCOTT HARRIS
56th Operations Group

We in the Air Force are facing challenging times as both individuals and organizations. We are in the middle of several force shaping efforts to trim nearly 25,000 Airmen from our ranks. I want to look at the trials facing many squadrons, groups and wings across the Air Force.

Initially, these organizations were tasked with helping Airmen prepare for the possibility of being selected for separation and assist those selected to successfully transition to civilian life. Now these units have other challenges. What will organizations do without those people chosen to separate? Some units could have up to 10 percent of their force separate in less than a year. Although we have an idea of the number of people to be separated, the future of positions within organizations is yet to be decided.

How does a unit keep up its mission while so many people are preparing to separate? How does that same unit keep going after those people have left? How do we take care of those Airmen who remain to accomplish the mission? Those are the tribulations I want to address.

When faced with challenges, I see people usually react in one of two ways. Some people tend to “buckle down,” put on the blinders and power through. This is my typical approach when dealing with adversity. Regardless, if this personal method works for me, it might not be the most effective technique for an organization. We can’t just tell our Airmen to buckle down or continue preaching we are “doing more with less” indefinitely.

Other times, people are overwhelmed by the extent of their hurdles and simply give up. As alluring as this may seem to some, Air Force leaders can’t even give it a passing thought. We owe our Airmen and our nation much more – quitting is not an option.
Helen Keller once said, “The world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.”

She exemplifies resiliency and showed that we have the ability to choose whether we remain in our suffering or overcome it.

I think we have to look for a third approach by looking for an opportunity in the challenge. We may even have to find opportunity in the test. This opportunity is the chance to refocus on effectiveness and mission accomplishment while discarding whatever does not contribute.

We must encourage our people to know what we do, how we do it and also why we do it. Do we do things because that is the way it has always been done? We have to begin by focusing on what we need to achieve. We may find some of the steps we usually take to meet our desired end state don’t actually contribute to the effort.

We have entered trying times. Throughout the history of our country and our Air Force, we find most great changes, innovations or inventions came when they were needed most. Although we may not be in the most difficult time in the history of the Air Force, there is a definite necessity for change.

“Necessity is the mother of invention.” – Plato




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


 
 

 
Senior Airman
JAMES HENSLEY

F-35 pilot training underway

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY Travis Byrom, Lockheed Martin instructor pilot, briefs students in the first F-35 Lightning II training course before the start of class May 5 at Luke Air Force Base. The students are Lt. Col. Sean Ho...
 
 

Everything I need to know about leadership, I learned …

I am sure you’ve heard of, or even read, Robert Fulgham’s best-selling book, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” Fulgham’s text resonates with many for the simplicity with which he describes “how to be a person.” Leadership in the 21st century Air Force is a much discussed topic, and one can...
 
 

Which one are you?

Have you ever worked for someone you felt was impossible to deal with? How about someone who you simply tolerated? Or have you worked for someone you actually really wanted to work for? What was your work environment like, and what was the attitude of the people among the different types of bosses? Let’s be...
 

 
Senior Airman 
DEVANTE WILLIAMS

Wild Weasels reunite

Senior AirmanDEVANTE WILLIAMS The Wild Weasels gather for a group photo during their reunion May 1 at Luke Air Force Base. The Wild Weasels were formed during the early days of the Vietnam War. Their mission was to seek out and...
 
 

News Briefs May 15, 2015

Leadership Gold Members of the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence are visiitng Luke to present Dr. John Maxwell’s Leadership Gold, which grows leaders and fosters teamwork, at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 2 in the Navy Operational Support Center, Bldg. 300, Room 412. Open to civilians and all ranks of enlisted and officers....
 
 

AF announces senior selects

The following master sergeants have been selected for promotion to senior master sergeant: 61st Fighter Squadron Heather Hefner 56th Maintenance Group Christian Brandon 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Paul Branstetter and Brian Leonard 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Andres Vasquez 308th Aircraft Maintenance Unit William Jennings 310th AMU John Taylor 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Tommy C...
 




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