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June Chief's Perspective

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Kristy Livermore with the 169th Security Forces Squadron, South Carolina Air National Guard, Feb. 27, 2015.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Kristy Livermore with the 169th Security Forces Squadron, South Carolina Air National Guard, Feb. 27, 2015. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --

Happy June! First, I must say thank you to all of the men and women of the South Carolina National Guard for the hard work and professionalism that was observed during the Air & Ground Expo. It never ceases to amaze me the lengths that all of our Airmen and Soldiers go through to ensure not only a successful outcome, but rather outstanding results whether it be a deployment, inspection, or any other call of duty. From my perspective, the long days and sometimes difficult job did not dampen the spirit of our men and women. It is times like these that sets us apart from other organizations and reminds us of who we are and why we do what we do. While writing this article I considered several topics before deciding on a couple that I wanted to address.

First of all, attitude. Attitude simply put, will make us or break us. I saw so many Airmen and Soldiers during our recent Expo with a positive attitude even when things were not going as planned. They could have just as easily grumbled and been a part of the problem instead of finding a resolution. We wake up each and every day and have the choice of deciding our attitude, “Is this going to be a good day or is this going to be a bad day?” You control your attitude. The following is a quote from Charles Swindoll, “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.”  It takes a positive attitude to achieve positive results. Negativity is contagious. Actions that you take as a result of your attitude will in turn create a reaction from others.

Secondly, communication. It has been talked about countless times on how to improve communication between subordinates, peers, supervisors, and senior leadership. The most effective communication that I have had since becoming the Security Forces Manager was taking the time to have one-on-one conversations to simply listen and get to know my Airmen. If we know our people, it is much easier to capitalize on strengths, show empathy when needed, give recognition, connect the right people, and avoid micromanagement. Social circles are another area that I believe will aid improving communications. They can be any type of social circle where the member feels respected, loyalty, and encourages a positive direction. Circles help to achieve goals, form bonds, networking and learning new things. I encourage everyone to expand their “circle.”

Lastly, leadership. We as leaders must prepare our Airmen as they are the future. Retired Wing Command Chief Terry Wingard said it best, “We must teach them respect, loyalty, humility, and teamwork. We should listen to them and change the attitude of ‘I, me, and mine to us, we, and ours.’” There is no “I” in team. Leaders lead, mentor, and advocate but we must be willing to put ourselves out there in the middle of things. The argument for doing your job is a simple one, do the minimum and you will receive the minimum. As leaders, give honest feedback, ask for feedback in return, give thanks for a job well done and correct things when they’re wrong. The argument for fulfilling your role is compelling, not complicated. It’s those who want to rise above mediocrity, set high standards, and make a difference. Inspire our Airmen to become great followers. The greatest leaders were once the greatest followers. I am honored to serve with you. May God continue to bless each of you and your families.