Commentary

July 13, 2012

Air Force needs leaders who ‘Own It’

Tags:
by Chief Master Sgt. Patrick McMahon
50th Space Wing command chief

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) — Former Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Curtis E. LeMay once so accurately stated, “I’m firmly convinced that leaders are not born; they’re educated, trained and made, as in every other profession. To ensure a strong, ready Air Force, we must always remain dedicated to this process.”

LeMay’s words are just as relevant and vital to the development of Airmen today as they were more than 50 years ago when he first expressed them.

As Airmen, our core values are the foundational underpinnings that drive our behavior and actions. Leadership is much more an art than science. As Airmen, the cornerstone for leadership decisions begins with integrity, service and excellence. The question for all of us is how do we maximize the opportunities to deliberately develop leaders at all levels in our Air Force to enhance leadership decisions?

One philosophy is to “Own it.” Simply stated, as Airmen, we need to own it: own our actions, own our decisions, own our processes, own our lane and responsibilities. Often, a failure occurs when we look for decisions or policies made at higher levels, when the correct and appropriate answer resides within our own area of responsibility.

A related example is in how an Airmen’s performance is properly assessed. In my opinion, one of the limiting factors in properly evaluating a member’s performance is found in organizational leaders and front-line supervisor’s articulation of expectation management requirements. When it comes to setting expectations a simple math equation is turned into a calculus problem. Setting clear expectations and standards is crucial to the successful execution of our military missions. The clear establishment of leadership expectations and enforcement of standards has both positive tactical and strategic effects on our Air Force and is the bedrock of organizational success.

Recently Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy, provided a timely and substantive perspective on the need for bold leadership. I wholeheartedly concur with both his perspective and strong message, but with one small caveat. I firmly believe there is no requirement to place descriptives in front of the word leadership. The words bold and innovative are intuitive within the definition of leadership and the word stands alone. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a bad leader; you are either a leader or you are not.

Creating leaders in today’s Air Force is accomplished through a process of development based on education, training and experience. These three substantial platforms combined with continued professional development and focused mentorship by more seasoned leaders allows for the development of Airmen of all ranks that can excel at every level.

The ability to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace is in direct relation to the talented professionals amongst our ranks. Developing leaders is critical to organizational effectiveness and ensuring our talented professionals are properly evaluated is essential to fostering enduring excellence. To tolerate mediocrity is to abdicate leadership responsibility. To then redefine mediocrity as exceptional is in no uncertain terms just combat ineffective and our Airmen deserve better.

Recently, the 50th Space Wing was named the best wing in Air Force Space Command. Extraordinary expectations come along with that recognition. It is more than an award. It is an honor that needs to be sustained and revalidated each and every day. It is awesome being a member of the premier space wing in the world while being an Airman in the best Air Force on the planet. So please…own it!




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


 
 

 
(Official U.S. Air Force photo)

Knowing the facts: National American Indian Heritage Month

(Official U.S. Air Force photo) Maj. Gen. Clarence L. Tinker was the highest ranking officer of Native-American ancestry and the first general lost in action during World War II. November is National American Indian Heritage Mo...
 
 

VA implements second phase of Choice Card Program

Washington, DC – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it began mailing Veterans Choice Cards on Nov. 17 to Veterans currently waiting more than 30-days from their preferred date or the date that is medically determined by their physician for an appointment at a VA facility. “VA continues to focus on implementation...
 
 

Red Cross shares top safety tips for Thanksgiving

Millions of people will travel to spend their Thanksgiving holiday with loved ones and the American Red Cross has steps they can follow to help make sure they have a safe trip. The holiday is also a time when cooks spend a lot of time in the kitchen and there are tips they can use...
 

 

Officials Highlight Health, Wellness Resources for Military Families

WASHINGTON – As efforts continue to strengthen service members and their families, Pentagon officials held a Bloggers Roundtable to highlight the myriad resources available to tackle the unique military and transitional challenges those who serve may face. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy Rosemary Freitas Williams, Marine Corps Sgt. Maj....
 
 
HBI

Tips for getting enough healthy protein in your diet

At a time when over a third of American adults are obese and childhood obesity rates are rising exponentially, more Americans are looking for meat alternatives in their dining choices. In fact, close to 16 million Americans are...
 
 

AF closes FY14 force management programs

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Airmen who met the service’s reduction in force board were notified of the board’s results Nov. 19, bringing the fiscal year 2014 force management programs to an end. The RIF board selected 354 captains and majors across the Air Force for non-retention, half of the number the service previously projected it would...
 




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