Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

18th Air Force Commander: 'Offer Value Through Competence'

by Ed Shannon
Air Mobility Command Public Affairs


2/26/2014 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- "No commander will ignore competence ," the commander of the Air Mobility Command's only Numbered Air Force told the command' s public affairs professionals, Jan. 30.

Lt. Gen. Darren W. McDew, 18th Air Force commander and former Director of Public Affairs for the Air Force, shared his perspectives about the future of the Air Force, the importance of communication, and effective leadership to more than two dozen participant s during a 45-minute Defense Connect Online video call.

"You 've got to establish your competence," said McDew, who added that demonstrating value to leaders represents one of the best ways to do that. "Sit down at your desk. Think through the boss' problem sets, and solve them before they even know they need to be solved," he said.

McDew peppered the discussion with personal anecdotes reflecting the importance of seeking and capitalizing on the opportunities that life presents. Maj. Michael Meridith, who serves as McDew's public affairs officer, said the general 's comments reflect a philosophy that places a premium on "bold, innovative" approaches to life's challenges.

"One of the things that those who participated appreciated - and something those of us who have the opportunity to work for Lieutenant General McDew certainly do appreciate - is the broad perspective he brings," Meridith said. "In him, you have a military leader whose diverse experiences fuel some really unique ways of looking at a problem, analyzing it from a lot of different points, and reachin g innovative solutions that might not ever have occurred to others."

McDew also believes the various challenges faced by today's Air Force also represent targets of opportunity for Airmen to become actively engaged in the problem-solving process, he said.

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