Self ... Serving

SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich. -- Today I would like to talk about Service Before Self and how it relates to being a senior noncommissioned officer and a noncommissioned officer. It is not uncommon, many of us have either worked with or been supervised by someone we felt did not have our best interest at heart.

By the time we reach the rank of TSgt or even as early as SSgt, it is time to reprogram our minds from SELF mode to SERVANT/MENTOR mode.

Being an effective SNCO, NCO and in life, requires servant-leadership and servant attitude.

As servant-leaders our focus should be primarily on the growth and well-being of our family, fellow wingman, and the communities to which we belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the "top of the pyramid," servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.

In John C. Maxwell's latest book, The 5 Levels of Leadership, he offers these tips for business, workplace and military organizational leaders:

Good leadership isn't about advancing yourself. It's about advancing your team.

1. Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.

2. Leadership is action, not position.

3. When people feel liked, cared for, included, valued, and trusted, they begin to work together with their leader and each other.

4. If you have integrity with people, you develop trust. The more trust you develop, the stronger the relationship becomes. In times of difficulty, relationships are a shelter. In times of opportunity, they are a launching pad.

5. Good leaders must embrace both care and candor.

6. People buy into the leader, then the vision.

7. Bringing out the best in a person is often a catalyst for bringing out the best in the team.

8. Progress comes only from taking risks and making mistakes.

9. Leaders are measured by the caliber of leaders they develop, not the caliber of their own leadership.

As we move forward into an ever changing Air Force, I urge you to lead by example, do this by helping others and through your own actions, focus on things ahead, do the extra (before hand) to move up and advance your career, research what is required to make it to the next rank, complete it and be prepared to go before any board you are eligible for, at any time. Higher expectations and requirements are going to be the norm, CCAF Degree requirements are just one example.

Our Air Force Core Values, Servant- Leadership and being the right type of Leader have an impact on advancement. Read, ask questions, volunteer and remember:

"Your Life Will Follow Your Vision"