Making a difference

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Lloyd Buzzell
  • 341 Operations Support Squadron commander
We are confronted with challenges every day in the Air Force.

Sometimes, those challenges appear so overwhelming and difficult, it seems like we will never make a difference. It is sometimes difficult to see how we can change or fix things in our organization.

For instance, in the early 1960s, the Boston Bruins were the worst hockey team in the National Hockey League. They had only won 14 games in a 70 game season in 1962.
That year, the team discovered 14-year-old Bobby Orr playing in Parry Sound, Ontario. He was already competing against hockey players much older than he and dominating the game.

In 1970, he led the Boston Bruins to their first Stanley Cup victory in 29 years. He scored one of the most famous goals in hockey history to win the championship in overtime in the final game.

But it wasn't just the records or achievements that made him a great player. It was the way he changed the game. When he entered, the NHL defensemen were traditionally defensive minded and hung back in their defensive zone. Rarely would a defenseman move all the way up the ice and if he did, he would quickly return to a defensive position.

Bobby Orr completely changed that style of play.

He would pick up the puck in his end of the ice, rush the entire length of the rink and then score a goal or pass it to a teammate to score. His end-to-end rushes electrified crowds and revolutionized the way hockey is played today.

The Bruins of that time eventually added some very good talent to play alongside him, but he made them even better. The way Bobby Orr played, and his leadership, inspired his teammates.

By adding one player to the Bruins, the team became an unstoppable force. Many hockey traditionalists said that he shouldn't play the style he did, but should stick to the normal way of playing. However, he continued with his innovative techniques.

One person had made a difference.

You can make a difference if you desire. Maybe you can't skate like Bobby Orr, but attitude, desire and perseverance go a long way. Usually if you step up and take the lead, no one will stop your initiative, but will recognize a good thing and get on board.

Positive attitudes are contagious while the only person to usually slow you down is yourself.

I am sure you see people making a difference every day! It might be your wife helping people at church or on base, a young officer stepping up to try and solve a problem, or a young Airman chef cooking a hot meal for a tired troop at a missile alert facility.

One person can make a difference. Look for your opportunity today.