MEDIA CONTEST: Be an inspirational leader

  • Published
  • By ACC Media Contest
  • Commentary Entry 8
Everyone has heard the old adage "you attract more bees with honey than vinegar."
The same holds true for inspiring good work and growing leaders. In this case, leadership technique is the element that can be honey or vinegar.

We are all striving to do a good job, complete the mission and take care of people.
But none will come to pass with an Industrial Age, assembly line, "work until I'm tired of watching you" management philosophy. From the most senior officer to the "slick sleeve" Airman, we all deserve to be treated with kindness and respect unless our own actions prove otherwise.

Unfortunately, giving encouragement is not generally a high priority role of some military supervisors. We all have too much on our plate and we need folks to produce with little to no training and spin up time - what a fallacy. Traditionally, technical skills and productivity on the job were aspects that received the supervisor's primary focus.

However, there is a growing appreciation that encouragement is a transformational leadership technique that is related to productivity on the job and to quality work.

Use of encouragement is a leadership technique that fits in today's people-oriented work climate - but we must permeate this idea. It works best when we make it contagious. We will all find great success by inspiring and empowering Airmen through the development of leadership skills within their management ranks. These skills can be learned and used to aid in the goal of continuous improvement.

We, as leaders, must put effort into developing "people programs" designed to help the airman succeed. We need to make the time to not only mentor our folks but get to know their goals and interests; learn what inspires them.

Today's leadership establishes corporate directions while balancing individual and group achievement, both of which can improve overall mission accomplishment.

Leadership power should be shared, not used to control. After all, leadership is not about power. It is about setting directions for others, the clearing of obstacles, and then allowing others to believe the direction was their idea.

Good leadership accomplishes the mission. Great leadership is based on the success of others.