More to leading than meets eye

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Alicia Williams
  • 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron
What's the first thing that comes to mind when we think about leadership? Is it the seniority of an individual or the the number of stripes on the sleeve? Or could it be their personal ability to transform another's vision into reality?

Leadership is much more than what meets the eye. A simple word such as leadership can have many complex meanings and explanations.

A good leader is someone who builds a vision, maps out where you need to go to be successful, inspires you and guides you through the process. They exemplify many key attributes such as dedication, integrity and humility.

When our leadership is enthused about a mission or cause, we're inclined to follow. Many individuals may look the part as they walk around chanting core values, but they lack vision, empowerment and the ability to accept the failures of those they lead. It takes putting "me" to the side, and placing the mission and the wellness of others before self.

When I think about leadership and one's ability to inspire people to achieve outstanding results, I think about a senior NCO I encountered a few years ago. She ruled with an iron fist when you acted in an unprofessional manner, but was as sensitive and understanding as a great mentor and leader should be.

The ability to lead shouldn't be thought of as a burden, but an achievement that is developed through years of trial and error. The making of a great leader doesn't happen overnight, so be patient with your works.

As a great leader it's important to be able to carry out authoritative instruction, as well as give it. We are all part of a greater mission, and it's the responsibility of our great leaders to make sure we stay within our scope of responsibility.

Every piece of the puzzle counts when carrying out a vision, and every vision may be essential when carrying out the mission. So as a leader, be more inclusive looking for greater and more innovative ways to complete tasks.

Whether you're a leader of an entire major command or the leader of a simple task, the ideals of our core values should always be the building blocks to the personal development of the effective leader. With that being said, I would like to leave you with a quote from a great leader of the past:

"Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it." ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower