Have you ever wondered, “Why are we doing this?” “What does this have to do with the big picture or overall goal?” “Why is this important?”
These concerns, although completely natural, can usually be mitigated by taking the time to understand your Mission, Vision, and Priorities (MVPs) and then working to figure out how what you do supports those MVPs. Successful organizations have well-established MVPs that set a clear purpose and goal for people to identify with as they work toward success. The 436th Airlift Wing has done just that.
You know that awkward moment where you walk into a room but forgot why you were going there? Don’t worry, it happens to all of us. Organizations can also have those moments by getting so busy with the daily grind that they lose focus of their original purpose. Having a clear mission statement helps an organization through that by keeping us in line with our purpose.
A mission statement is a formal summary of the purpose and values of a company, organization or individual. From a military perspective, it can keep us on path at all levels, squadron, wing, MAJCOM and service, to ensure that we are collectively striving toward the Air Force’s ultimate purpose to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace. We support that here at the 436th AW by providing rapid global airlift, combat ready Airmen, and unrivaled installation support.
It is easy to see the importance of having a mission statement to ensure we are working with one purpose in mind. Additionally, it’s important we know what we are aiming to accomplish.
Have you ever opened a box to assemble something and the diagram or instructions were missing? It’s hard to put something together if you don’t have an idea of what the end result should at least look like. Your vision statement is just that; a “picture” of what you want the end result to be, what you want to accomplish.
As the United States Air Force aspires to be the “World’s Greatest Air Force powered by Airmen, Fueled by Innovation,” the 436th AW aspires to be the “World’s Premier Airlift Wing.” This is our objective, our goal, what we will accomplish if we focus our efforts and decisions to getting after this vision. Some might think this is a bold vision. However, stretching outside of our comfort zone is what will bring us together as an organization and closer to reaching goals that are bigger than ourselves. We often do this in our personal lives by setting a fitness or educational goal, then work tirelessly to achieve it. So the vision is what we will continue to reach for and focus our time and energy on. Now we just need to figure out where to start.
You may have heard the statement, “If everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority.” It is important for an organization, and even for individuals, to set priorities in efforts to accomplish the mission and reach the vision. From an organizational perspective, it is essential those priorities fall in line with higher levels of command. Understanding how your priorities align with the bigger picture can ensure your efforts get you and the unit closer to the goals instead of further away. In fact, when priorities and efforts are properly aligned, there is synergy that propels organizations to the next level.
When you look at the United States Air Force priorities of restoring readiness, cost-effectively modernizing, driving innovation, developing exceptional leaders and strengthening our alliances; how do your priorities align? How do your team, squadron or group’s priorities not only accomplish your mission and reach your vision, but how do they align within our Air Force priorities?
So now what?
Leadership throughout the wing has collectively established our MVPs and made sure they clearly align within our Numbered Air Force, MAJCOM and the United States Air Force. Our mission statement encapsulates our purpose while our vision statement sets a bold goal for us to achieve, and we have clearly identified our priorities to focus our efforts toward delivering excellence.
As we focus on continued success here at Dover Air Force Base, I ask, what are your MVPs? What motivates you? Are your organizational and personal MVPs aligned? If not, now’s a great time to realign, refocus and help find where you fit into the bigger Air Force picture!