March Chief's Concerns
By Command Chief Master Sgt. Robert E. Davis, 169th Fighter Wing
/ Published March 04, 2014
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- This will be my last article in the SCANG News. I will focus this article on leadership. I am writing on this subject because all airmen will become a leader during their career within the military. We have schools that we send our airmen to in order to develop leadership skills and enhance the skills they have obtained. In order for an organization to be healthy, members must trust leadership, keep improving, and most importantly, must have a vision. Of course these are not the only elements that make an organization healthy.
Members of the team must have trust in the leader and the organization. This means the team feels when the organization makes decisions to accomplish the mission, they are aware of how it will impact the team members. The key element is to inform the team why you make certain decisions. In order for members to trust and respect the leader, he/she must accept the responsibility of the team, especially if the team has failed in a certain area. The leader must have a desire to keep improving the organization in order to be successful.
Leaders must have a desire to improve their lives. This is the only way the organization can grow and achieve the goals of the unit. You must learn something every day, and then you will become better prepared to handle whatever challenges you meet. You must spend time alone because this will allow you to gain perspectives on your failures and successes so that you can learn from them. Spending time alone, also gives you the time and space to sharpen your personal or organization vision. Lastly, you need to stop waiting on the future, and start being the leader you want to be. In other words, you need to apply what you have learned.
As you begin to apply what you have learned, you must focus on the vision of the organization. A truly great vision speaks to what each team member can become if they truly live out their values and work according to their highest standards. Without a challenge, many people tend to fall or fade away. If you can see vision for your team, then your team members has a reasonably good chance at success. A compelling vision alone will not make someone a leader. Nor will a great vision automatically be fulfilled simply because it is compelling or valuable. Followers need to buy in to the leader's vision.
Lastly, as we become leaders of our organization, I will encourage you to apply these elements to your leadership style. If any of these elements are not present, I will assure you that you will not have a healthy team. I am proud to say that the SCANG has a rich history and the future is bright. I am proud to be "SWAMP FOX." I appreciate all of the great leaders who mentored me during my career.