Commentary

January 10, 2014

Leave enduring legacy to Air Force

Master Sgt. Michael Weidner
618th Air and Space Operations Center (TACC)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — In the 19 years I’ve served in the Air Force, I’ve contemplated the quality of the Airman we enlist on numerous occasions.

I’m not saying the entire enlisted force is going down the drain, because it isn’t.

In fact, I feel the quality of our Airmen has actually risen. They are smarter, in many aspects, than we older guys were when we joined. I have personally led a myriad of them that are truly outstanding.

Many of those who were failing didn’t know they were not meeting expectations and there were also many who were failing because they weren’t challenged.

Regardless of whether your Airmen are fast burners or ones that need a lot of guidance, leaders need to find a way to carve out five to 10 minutes daily to talk with each of them. Senior enlisted leaders also need to make time to talk with the officers lead our Airmen. As we know, we don’t enter the Air Force as a master of our careers. It takes time and attention from our leadership to get us to that point.

Without that attention, most will flounder.

Those in leadership positions have an endless list of things-to-do at the beginning of each day. We have everything from Task Management Tool deadlines, reviewing emails that came in after we left the day prior and last-minute, hot requests. With all the tasks on our “To-Do” list, we often find ourselves bogged down in busy work and forget we need to be leaders first. If we strive each day to have those five minutes with each Airman, it will make a huge difference to the overall force.

These brief conversations can be as simple as asking them how their day is going or how their family is. This sincere talk may not seem like mentoring, but it goes a long way in building trust and understanding your Airmen personally. The formal conversations over upcoming PT Tests and CBT training can come later, but establishing and maintaining rapport makes hard discussions — the dreaded midterm feedback — easier to deal with when the time comes.

We don’t need to coddle them and befriend through these conversations, but understanding their backgrounds, strengths, weaknesses, what makes them tick, and what can challenge them to the next level is necessary to be an effective mentor.

With a thorough understanding of your Airmen, you will have a better understanding of how to guide them.

By not challenging your Airmen out of their comfort zones, they will inevitably reach a career plateau. Challenging them may be construed as “tough love,” but those Airmen who take the challenge will be pushed to new horizons. A great majority — about 98 percent of those you will supervise in your career will respond well to this type of mentoring. This extra attention and constant feedback and motivation will help them discover their strengths, weaknesses and show them they can be successful on their own — they will truly surprise you.

Our present generation of Airmen is amazing. They simply need your daily guidance to help them thrive in today’s Air Force and become the next generation of Air Force leaders. Once it is your time to leave the Air Force, whether it is through retirement or separation, if you know you helped the 98 percent, two percent or the 100 percent, you will leave an enduring legacy of leadership and success for the next generation of leaders.




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


 
 

 

Nellis prepared for Air Force Fitness Management System upgrade

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The Air Force Fitness Management System, or AFFMS, will be offline from Dec. 31-Jan. 11 to enable Air Force Personnel Center teams to transition content to the improved Air Force Fitness Management System II. The new system – AFFMS II – will improve accessibility and fitness program managers’ ability...
 
 
basketball4

Intramural basketball season underway

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika Jan Lanier, 99th Security Forces Squadron guard, goes up for a dunk during an intramural basketball game against the 57th Operations Support Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev...
 
 

Saving energy to save money

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — One million dollars is a large sum of money. That is the amount Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases consume in electricity annually. One quarter of that energy is supplemented by renewable energy gathered by the solar field, said Jeffrey Blazi, 99th Civil Engineer Squadron energy program manager. “We...
 

 
creech9

2014 Creech Year in Review

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay An MQ-9 Reaper sits as a static display in front of the Las Vegas skyline during the 2014 Nellis Open House at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Nov. 8. The MQ-9 Reaper provides the ...
 
 
DT8

2014 Nellis Year in Review

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler An Airman from the 820th RED HORSE Squadron reunites with his family at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., after returning from deployment April 28. RED HORSE specializes in co...
 
 

Ask the Doc

Q. Does TRICARE cover power wheelchairs and scooters? A. Yes — if medically necessary and TRICARE requirements are met. TRICARE may cover scooters — electric-powered and cart-type vehicles — as an alternate to an electric wheelchair, but TRICARE will not pay for both a scooter and an electric wheelchair during the same period of time....
 




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