Initial Expectations

Find your “Why.”  I truly believe in the Compass Call mission and our people, but it’s easy to lose sight of what drives us.  My “why” stems from an experience over a decade ago when a young Airman embedded within an Army convoy unit called to say “thank you” for saving his life.  We had pre-detonated an Improvised Explosive Device in Iraq only 10 seconds ahead of their convoy, and as a result, saved the lives of 30 soldiers.  10 seconds matter.  Make them count.

Stick to the Air Force Core Values.  Integrity First:  it will ensure we do things right, for the right reasons.  Mutual respect, trust, and dignity form the foundation for effective teamwork.  Service Before Self.  Our mission takes the fight to the enemy to serve a greater good.  Be ready, and seek the betterment of yourself and our squadron in order to serve that greater purpose.  Strive for Excellence in everything you do.  I expect your best efforts, an unrelenting work ethic, and the character to form the bedrock of your pursuit of excellence.  Challenge your limits.

Establish balance.  The effort to achieve excellence does not equate to endless hours and constant presence on duty.  I expect your commitment, but I also encourage your own pursuit of balance in the physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, professional, social, and personal components of your lives.  Utilize your personal time so that you are ready to face any challenge, execute the mission, and achieve personal and professional success.

Effective communication is imperative to squadron success.  A positive, transparent information flow is essential.  I expect brutal honesty in feedback up and down the chain of command.  Identify issues, propose solutions, and challenge each other when wrong or off-track.  Attack the problem, and keep each other accountable in mission execution, readiness, and the maintenance of our professional standards.  Debrief when and where appropriate, but do so with the constant intent to achieve squadron or self-improvement.

Lead at every level.  I expect intrusive leadership from my supervisors.  Know your people and their families.  Mentor constantly.  Empower them.  Lead through example.  Be the expert in your field.  “Lead up” by challenging what doesn’t make sense.  Push each other to improve products, processes, or policies.  Challenge me to do the same.

Publish or perish.  Build continuity.  Ensure we do not have single points of failure.  Products and processes must be able to be accomplished regardless of who is behind the work.  Document, document, document…it establishes the foundation for our ability to reward, rehabilitate, or remove personnel as situations dictate.  Innovate.  Do the research and propose new ideas that will challenge the status quo, establish greater efficiencies, and accomplish greater mission effectiveness.  Put your thoughts in writing.

Our vision is to achieve proficiency in every facet of our duties.  Our mission is to be ready to electronically attack the enemy…anytime, anywhere.  Be ready.  Make your impact.  Lead well, and earn this…

Serving to Command

The epitome of leadership is to be able to serve those who have either chosen to follow or must follow us in our capacity as organizational leaders.  In command, that adds additional weight and authority to accomplish something greater while taking care of those in our charge.  The essence of command lies in our ability to serve on multiple levels and (attempt to) push our leadership for our people beyond the “have to” and into the “want to” perspectives of followership.  Servant leadership can take us there by showing we care about more than ourselves and that we’re doing it to achieve a greater good for our mission, organization, and the people who accomplish that mission and make up that organization.

“A life is not important except for the impact it has on other lives.” (Jackie Robinson)

A heart for service occurs at many levels.  By nature, we must serve our organizations and leaders in the pursuit of the vision and mission of those organizations.  We can serve beyond our organization by achieving the purpose of that organization.  But most importantly, we can serve those we work with from differing perspectives as leaders, supervisors, subordinates, followers, peers, or mentors.  Command consolidates all of those perspectives while tailoring our actions and decisions to the service of the greater good for both our people and our mission.  In that role, we must daily ask ourselves what have we done for our organization, our people, ourselves, and our country today?

“There is no limit to the good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.” (Ronald Reagan; Harry Truman)

To meet our challenge of achieving the mission, we serve ourselves in our daily efforts to become tactically proficient and experts at everything we are responsible for.  We serve our peers and teams by doing all we can to increase their tactical proficiency and job expertise.  We serve those in charge through development, mentoring, training, and education to ensure growth.  We serve those whose charge we fall within by striving for the vision they set out, and engaging when that path is unclear.  We serve our organizations with every effort to do our jobs while seeking improvements, efficiencies, and continuity to sustain where we work.  We serve our country by being ready to do what we train for and finding ways to do it better, then bringing those skills to bear when and where needed.  In command, we serve by accomplishing that cycle of service beyond ourselves to ensure everyone in our charge is ready to do the same.  Make them ready.  Grow their skills.  Then watch them exceed our expectations.  If we serve that greater purpose in everything we do, we can truly lead…

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