Excellence again, when no one is watching

  • Published
  • By Col. Ed Wilson
  • 45th Space Wing commander
When growing up, I heard an old Southern Baptist preacher say that you can tell when someone is making the right decisions if they "do the right thing when no one is watching." In other words, you can tell a lot about someone or a team in how they behave when they don't realize anyone is watching.

Let's face it, it's human nature to get ramped up to put your best foot forward when you have your boss standing over your desk, monitoring your every action. It's pretty easy to put your "game face" on for a short time and do what it takes to run through your  checklists and impress the ever-present inspectors that you know how to do your job - and do it well.

It's another thing altogether to persist and give a top-notch effort when you know there's no one watching, or when no one is crawling through your files or going through your procedures.

The majority of the Patrick AFB and Cape Canaveral AFS was unaware we had a no-notice functional inspection of our COMSEC accounts last week. Bottom line: The wing did well across the board ... congratulations!

Just as important, I made a point to ask the inspectors "what else?" What did they see as they moved around various organizations (without the fanfare associated with a formal ORI/UCI). I'm proud to report the feedback was "outstanding" from top-to-bottom. At every stop (to include exchanges with men and women around the wing during off duty times when the inspectors were in civilian clothes), they were impressed time and again, all across the Wing.

And though I've only been a Shark a short while, there appears to be a very obvious answer for this kind of behavior.

It's because we care. We care about what we do. We care about who we are serving and what we represent. We care about doing the best possible job, every single day. It's called character, and as 19th century clergyman Phillip Brooks said, "character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones."

Just a few short months ago, you showed your true colors when the bright lights of the ORI/UCI were shining in everyone's collective eyes. That was then, under the microscope. This is now, when no one is watching.

In my eyes, this one was every bit as impressive. Being consistently professional, whatever the situation, is as good as it gets!

Thank you (again) for the opportunity to serve with you.