Commentary by Col. Dennis Seymour
927th Mission Support Group
7/4/2013 - MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- How do you define a leader?
Is a leader the individual who creates an atmosphere of teamwork and
camaraderie in the workplace? Someone who quickly and easily gathers
support to accomplish that short-notice tasker from your boss? Is a
leader someone you place your trust in to get you through the tough
spots, or commands an aircraft carrying men and equipment to a safe
landing in some faraway land? Is being a parent the definition of a
The answer is yes, to all of those and more. A quote that has stuck with
me through the years reads, "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is
the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." As
leaders, we should strive to lead our troops on this "narrow way."
When we joined the military we were young, strong, and more than a bit
scared. We looked for someone to follow who would show us the way;
putting us on the right path and then letting us step out on our own,
with that leader always right behind us.
We knew we could trust them, because they were our leaders. These days,
we hear about sequestration, furloughs and budget deficits. And we know
all about deployments, family care, powers of attorney and hazardous
duty pay. You might think, "I didn't sign up for all this." But it is
that narrow way we chose to walk when we signed up.
Whether you have one stripe on each sleeve or eagles hanging on your
shoulders, we all must continue to challenge ourselves. You're never too
old or too smart to learn something new, or to share what you've
learned with someone else.
An organization rises and falls on leadership. Wrapped around that
leadership is communication. I make it a point to visit with my folks on
an informal basis as much as I can. I do this not only to keep them in
the loop, but also as a way for me to find out what's going on with
them. They get to know me and things I like, and I do the same with
Keeping the lines of communication open up and down the chain of command definitely works. Trust me.
We can all be leaders. Step out and keep stepping. Someone will need you to lead them, to help them walk that narrow way.