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Good Leadership at Core of Team Success

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Herbert Johnson
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Top III President
I believe leadership is the most essential part of an organization. Leadership provides a shining example of what individuals aspire to. Good leader inspire, motivate, and bring out the absolute best in a team. They encourage forward thinking, creativity, open communications, and taking the initiative. Effective leaders welcome ideas from everyone; even if the ideas challenge the traditional way of thinking. You are an effective leader; If you build confidence, demand excellence, set the example and are genuinely concerned about your people.
I always try to support my troops and peers by ensuring that they have the tools to accomplish what needs to be done. The Air Force today has many challenges, and it is our duty as Airmen to maintain and enforce the highest standards. I listen to the people that work with me and around me, realizing I need to what is going on with everyone on the team. In many cases; it helps me to understand the best approach to a situation. Leadership is not a "cookie cutter model".
My goal is to create an atmosphere where everyone is valued and know how important they are to the team. When people don't know how they fit, then it may allow them to think they are not needed. This is a difficult situation to handle, but using each person's experience and knowledge it can be worked out. I believe that respect from the team is earned; not thru title or rank, but showing ability, humility, agility, appreciation, and gratitude. My goal is to be an effective leader, who is approachable and supportive.
Chief Master Sergeant Lewis Singleton, Superintendent 6th Medical Group coined the phrase "Leadership is not "like-me ship. There will be times when your leadership may be challenged or a decision not welcomed. However, as long as I know I have the trust of my subordinates and I'm adhering to policy, standards and our core values, I can take comfort in knowing that I you can get through difficult situations or a tough decision. The bottom line is, as a leader we must lead with mission accomplish accomplishment priority number one.
I believe leadership is not about intentions, but about behavior. People model your behavior not your intentions. Leaders must know that subordinates are watching how they behave. Seeing how a leader responds to adversity, often times, makes others more willing to follow and work toward a common goal. Consequently, when my troops see how I respond to daily situations it makes them more inclined to follow my lead and to work in harmony.
You must not only be willing to lead; but, also demonstrate followership and be a team player. Organizations flourish or flounder because of leadership or in some cases, a lack thereof. Subordinates value leaders that make them feel empowered. No one knows all the answers; a successful leader takes advantage of the diversity within the team and uses it to make the team better.
Leadership is a large word that means many things to many of us. It is important to know that leadership is about people and management is about processes. Leadership is also influence and I must use my influence to make the people around me better while accomplishing the mission. We must all use our leadership to help the 6th Air Mobility Wing live up to its vision as "America's Best Wing".