What is holding you back from getting where you want to be and achieving what you want to achieve? We need to recognize we might not be in control of what happens to us, but we do control how we respond.
This year Dr. King would be turning 90 had history been written a different way. I can only imagine the impact he would have had with messages similar to the ones he conveyed. His strength to stand strong in the face of utter hatred will hold me awe for the rest of my days.
Happy Birthday Dr. King and thank you for inspiring millions and changing the world in which my children live.
I’ve felt confusion in many roles I’ve held. Those jobs quickly became demoralizing as I struggled to understand what priority I was working toward while my grandiose ideas were put on the backburner permanently. Many Airmen fight with this issue. The sooner we recognize that we must set a priority in our jobs and understand the essential duties from the nonessential, the sooner we might alleviate stress and anxiety that comes with doing many things but not being effective at any of them. One reading I recommend is ‘Essentialism’ by Greg McKeown. I’ve found that, while I am not great at many aspects of my job, I know that the focus I’ve applied to a few areas will pay dividends in the future and make a better organization overall. The hardest part is knowing that means I may upset some people in the chain of command, but it is a tradeoff for the greater good and provides a clarity of purpose and it’s something I have come to terms with. Focus is key, and doing a few things with excellence can make all the difference.
Feedback is a foundational task for any NCO. We believe that a lack of errors is good performance and if there are no errors, no feedback is necessary. What actually happens is that we close off the opportunity to improve our organizations. When we don’t guide and develop people at the one-on-one level (with regular feedback, not just formal), the cracks start to show in bigger ways within the organization. I’ve seen this manifest into a top-down management culture, making it reactionary and ‘dumber’ because only the people at higher levels can see the wider scope of the situation and compensate for the gaps in the organization’s performance. More systems are then created to avoid errors. Just because nothing is wrong doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t develop people before they make mistakes or bigger problems appear—we should coach our people and share our experiences. In the long run, I think we could avoid bigger cultural problems because of it.
As the MSgt was raising his voice, it was apparent that he was passionate about the topic we began discussing a few minutes earlier. I stayed with the conversation. Had I taken my ego and rank as a SMSgt into the situation, I would have likely reacted differently. My patience paid off because he got his message across—he had been putting off a needed surgery because he felt obligated to stay on the roster to work. Rank and ego should never be part of a discussion when a subordinate is trying to talk about an issue—you might unintentionally extinguish a conversation that might build some trust and uncover problems.
Why is it so hard to show compassion sometimes? When it is someone I care about deeply, it is very easy to care about their feelings. However, when it is someone who is a bit annoying, it is more of a challenge to have true compassion for their problems. For me, I do my best to imagine it is my child or sibling who is going through this and then try to employ the same measures I would for them.
Doesn’t this sound so simple? When we refuse to climb aboard the negative train to nowhere, we are already a step ahead of our peers. No one wants to follow a leader who is negative…it is like trying to walk through a muddy field with flip-flops. Be the person who talks about solving problems and not the one who just points them out to others.
Happy New Year! 2018 is over. There were many ups and many downs for us all. Now, it is time to look forward to this new year and start making things happen so that when we look back on what he have done 365 days from now, we will have made a difference for ourselves, our teams, and all the other whom we encounter.
Whenever I have been rigid in my ways, things have not worked out that well. I remember being so egotistical that I had painted myself into a corner and left myself no way out. Of course, I had made the wrong call, but made it even worse by being so set in my ways that I the only option was to fail or succeed in isolation. I have had to learn to be open to other options and opinions. Ironically, I am more successful now and even when I fail…there is a team beside me.