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Lead with Focus

PATRICK AFB, Fla. --      I was able to watch the final landing of the orbiter Discovery last month from Jolly 1. I was struck by how professional the recovery crews were on that day. They had every reason to be both celebratory and solemn. Yet they were neither. They were focused on the job at hand. The area needed to be cleared of hazardous propellants, the orbiter saved and crews removed. I credit the leadership at NASA for helping to keep their people focused.
     The 45 Space Wing has some upcoming events that will require our focus for a sustained period. We are about to begin the 101 days of summer and we need to focus on safety. As we work through that, we have our ORI on the horizon. But many of you have been through
multiple summer safety campaigns and wing wide inspections. When the beaches are calling and family is coming to visit, how do we "fire up the troops" for yet another busy
summer? It begins and ends with focus.
     We will find what we focus on. Recently, we have been focused on a busy launch schedule and must continue the mission. But now we have the opportunity to compartmentalize that focus. When not on mission it's time turn toward inspection prep. It is time to "parallel-task". As we ramp up our exercises we need to establish them as a priority. Treat each as a learning event and encourage subordinates.
     We as leaders set the example with what we focus on. Push away from the computer and the most recent email tasker and participate with the troops. Ask and confirm checklist status. Be up to speed on the required training and know the status of your Airmen. Focused
leadership will provide a clear picture of success and help navigate through difficult decisions.
     There will be many mistakes made throughout. Don't dwell on the wrong or the who, focus on the why and the fix. Just make it better! Like our NASA partners, when we as leaders focus on the way ahead all of us become part of the process.