“If he can be a flying crew chief, I know I can because half of the stuff on his last EPR were done with or by me.” This is very similar to a statement that SrA Lawrence said 17 years ago as I was interviewing for a job I really wanted. Thankfully, I had a good enough reputation as a Crew Chief to be able to get away with an arrogant statement like that. However, I look back on that now and want to invent a time machine and smack some humility and common sense into myself.
We get so caught up in how others are getting the promotion statements, awards, or duty titles we want that we lose sight of reality. I see this all the time in the workcenters and in the comments of social media posts. We worry about things outside of our scope. We don’t know everything they did or are doing. Maybe they are padding their resumes or getting credit for something others did. Highlight it to their supervisor and move on. Stop dwelling on it. We can’t control what they do on a daily basis to prepare or what they do to grow. We can’t control what they are getting out of different experiences.
Over the years, I have learned some humility and how to focus more on what is my span of control. Now turn that around for a moment:

1. Focus: We do know everything that we are doing. We can modify those things to make us more competitive or that better align us with our goals. If we know all the things others are getting credit for, chances are we are not focused on the right areas of our own lives.
2. Prepare: We can control how we are preparing ourselves for the next challenge. We can develop in the areas we are weak. We know the parts of our jobs that we could be better at. They are usually the things we don’t like doing. Practice getting better at those. Humble yourself and ask someone for help in that area. Then look at the job you want to be doing. What do you have to know to set you up for that? Seek those people who are doing the job and learn from them.
3. Reflect: We can control the lessons we learn from our successes and failures. What could we have done better to prepare? What can we do again next time?

Instead of judging what others are doing, look to see what you can learn from them and get better at your job. Phonies always get sniffed out at one point or another and when your boss realizes he needs someone to get the job done, are you going to be that expert or are you gonna be the person saying “I told you so!”?
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