Give your very best to get their very best
By Maj. Stephen Finn, 45th Civil Engineer Squadron commander
/ Published January 16, 2009
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- We hear the word 'leadership' daily, but do we really know what it means to be a good leader? Some think leadership is showing up to work on time, attending all the meetings and taking care of the mission. Not true! While leadership incorporates these activities, much more goes into being a "good leader" than the daily grind.
Leadership is an art. It comes easier to some than others, but remains vital to the success of the mission and, most importantly, the well-being of the men and women of the 45th Space Wing. Without motivated, dedicated people, the mission would fail.
How do we motivate those around us to strive to be the very best in everything they do? Lead by example. By living our core values; integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do.
Of course, everyone knows integrity is doing the right thing all the time, even when no one is looking. We must be an example of integrity in all facets of our lives. President Dwight D. Eisenhower summed it up, "The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in the Army, or in an office." These are words we all need to strive to live by.
In order to become a good leader, a key core value to achieve is "Service before self." This takes more work to attain. The most effective way to achieve this crucial step is to put your people first in everything you do. Without those in the trenches, doing what they do, we are nothing but a shell with an ideal.
We all have that Airman First Class or Staff Sergeant who just seems to get things done. You never have to check on them because you know it's right the first time, every time. Remember those who excel--with time off, quarterly awards, or more responsibility in your section. You are only as good as your people.
Last but not least is "excellence in all we do." The troops can tell if you're not giving your all each and every day. Your example can lead them to greatness, or failure. If you don't give your best, your troops won't give their best. Without excellence in our work, we are left with 50 percent solutions. Would you accept that success rate from your auto mechanic or contractor building your home?
Expect the very best from your people. In return, always give them your very best.