Leadership News

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"A Day in the Life of a Leader"

by Senior Airman Jannelle Dickey
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

11/16/2015 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La.,  -- The Barksdale Total Force Development Council hosted a theatrical play "A Day in the Life of a Leader" Nov. 13 to support Col. Kristin Goodwin's, 2nd Bomb Wing commander, 2015 initiative "The Year of the Leader." The theatrical play was designed to demonstrate healthy ways to cope with stressors regardless of position, every person faces obstacles and resiliency is an important attribute for leaders. The council hosted various mentorship events this year to include leadership workshops, get connected forums and an inaugural company grade officer professional development seminar. The council's mission is to organize force development seminars, events and team building exercises to enhance leadership, management and supervisory skills across the base.

Monday, November 09, 2015

What motivates you?

By Col. Kirsten Benford, 71st Medical Group commander / Published November 09, 2015

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. (AFNS) -- Motivation is an idea that is used to explain behavior. It is the reason for people's actions, desires and needs.

What motivates you? Is it a pay raise, promotion, family or friends?

When I applied for an ROTC scholarship back in the early 1980s, my motivation was monetary. I needed money for college. Many of us join the military for monetary reasons. Others join for travel, adventure and to see the world.

Occasionally, we need to reflect and reevaluate our motives for being in the total force. What is curious to me is the number of people who stay in the military beyond their original commitment when they seem to have lost their initial motivation, enthusiasm and zeal.

I entered the Air Force with a three-year commitment back in 1992. I stayed in the Air Force because I appreciated the more level playing field and opportunities for growth and development.

I have thoroughly enjoyed each job and "bloomed where I was planted."

It is hard to stay motivated when you don't get assigned the career field or base that you really wanted. That being said, it helps to keep a positive attitude and believe that things happen for a reason. We all can bring something to the fight if we stay motivated "in spite of" our temporary circumstances.

We need to remind ourselves of the choice we made to be part of the total force and get excited about the fact that we can still serve.

Motivation, enthusiasm and a positive attitude are just as contagious as negativity. They help us push through trials, unmet expectations, undesired jobs and other disappointments.

When I walked around the 71st Medical Group when I first arrived a few months ago, I couldn't tell those happy to be here from those simply riding out their assignment. Everyone appeared motivated and enthusiastic about the role they were playing. I fed off that enthusiasm and motivation and wanted to be a better leader and help each of my team members succeed.

I was ecstatic when I was first assigned to Vance. Then I "caught" the medical group enthusiasm fever and was motivated to keep up with the team.

Now I am "committed to excellence," and want everyone I come in contact with to catch the fever as well.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

I know who, what, when and where … but why?

By Tech. Sgt. David W. Hardy, JB Charleston Airman Leadership School / Published November 03, 2015

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. (AFNS) -- Leading by example can be a heavy burden, but it is the burden we choose to carry when we don the uniform each day. As leaders, we should focus on showing others "how" to be an American Airman who embodies the core values. We should also explain "why" it matters to serve with the utmost integrity because the "who, what, when and where" will then fall into place.

For example, when I was in ammo, I trained Airmen on upgrade tasks. If I incorrectly showed them how, they would obviously err in their role. However, if I failed to explain why it was important to follow technical orders, for example, the temptation may too great to cut corners in the future. It may also deprive them of pride in mission accomplishment. My negative leader influence could then be contagious and spread to other areas of their job and life.

When you show someone how to perform and explain why it is important, you get to the heart of the matter. Airmen not only need more head knowledge; they need more heart knowledge. Airmen want to perform well and work on high-performing teams. We owe them the tools to become outstanding individuals who accomplish incredible things as a team. Show them the importance of wanting to always do things the right way rather than simply doing things the right way when someone is looking.

Think about the kitchen fight scene in “The Break Up.” Jennifer Aniston browbeats Vince Vaughn into helping wash the dishes, but she doesn't like that he is simply giving a hand. No, she states, "I want you to want to do the dishes," which is something he cannot fathom. Many Airmen share these exact sentiments. Maybe you have felt the same way at some point in your career.

Our challenge is to get our Airmen to want to do the right thing. If we are going to exhort them, we must first model exemplary behavior. This calls for inner reflection; a sober assessment of ourselves is invaluable. Take a deep look in the proverbial mirror and allow your inner light to provide a visible path for others to follow. Ethical leadership is contagious and it starts with you.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Airmen leadership conference focuses on 'deeds not words'

by Airman 1st Class Kiana Brothers
375 Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

11/2/2015 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.  -- Nearly 200 Airmen attended the First Four Airmen Leadership Conference, or FALCON, at the education center here Oct. 20-21. This conference was designed by Airmen for Airmen and the theme for the event was "Facta non verba," meaning deeds not words.

"To me this means when we have a goal, we must actually take the steps necessary to accomplish it," said Airman 1st Class Andrew Hoang, previous First Four Professional development director.

The First Four council FALCON committee plans, coordinates, and gathers diverse facilitators throughout Team Scott to provide many perspectives and experience to the Airmen. This year's conference marked FALCON's four year anniversary and hosted the most Airmen since the creation of this conference.

Col. Laura Lenderman, 375th Air Mobility Wing commander, kicked off the conference by sharing her advice on taking advantage of every leadership opportunity, and conducted a Q&A with the airmen.

Airmen registered for classes pertaining to professional or personal development, and civilian or military career fields. Throughout each day, class structures were built on the concepts of what to expect when transitioning to be an NCO, transitioning from enlisted to officer, how to reach out to mentors or become a mentor, and learning their personality colors.

Airman 1st Class Christen Tadaj, FALCON participant, said, "I usually don't like public speaking, but I went to the public speaking class and the facilitator told us to embrace the anxiety, so I did. I went to the impromptu speaking class and it was awesome."

Skill labs were also offered, giving Airmen a chance to learn and compete in workshops involving impromptu speaking, bullet writing and various leadership scenarios. Trophies were awards to the following: Senior Airmen Terra Sanders, Michelle Jones, Adam Nelson, Nicole Blews, and Airman 1st Class Dominic Kagenski.

The classes were facilitated and judged by Team Scott's civilians, retirees, first sergeants, education office staffers, enlisted members and officers.

In addition, the Air Force Sergeant's Association hosted a team building activity based on survival skills. The event randomly selected groups of Airmen to evaluate a list of items needed for survival, bringing various ideas and perspectives to the group.

Hoang said, "Whether you are taking your first steps to achieving your Air Force goals or are already on the road to accomplishing them, FALCON had something to offer all Airmen."

The new First Four Council president, Senior Airman Kenyana Cornethan, and vice president, Senior Airman Nicole Blews, along with the FALCON committee, will gather feedback from this year's event to mold next year's conference where they plan to expand beyond Scott AFB.

Chief Master Sgt. Wesley Mathias, 375th Air Mobility Wing command chief, closed out the event leaving Airmen with the idea that the sky is the limit for them.

Thompson added, "Everyone on the committee had a 'don't-quit attitude' which made FALCON successful, and we're looking forward to next year's conference."