Organizational success

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Bradley Thye
  • 341st Medical Group
What are a few primary reasons that are directly influential to the success of your section? Your squadron? Your wing? The Air Force in general? An obvious answer is our core values, but there are many more reasons - probably enough to write an entire book. For the sake of being brief, let's consider three:

Commitment - What does this word mean to you? Let's think about this in terms of personal relationships. One might say it means staying committed to your loved ones at all times. Another may say it means staying actively engaged with their partner's wants and needs, while not only enjoying victory, but also during times of hardship. The same can be said about dedication to our service. Whether you have served for 28 years or have recently begun your Air Force journey a few months ago, we should all take a moment every now and then to reflect on the time when we voluntarily raised our right hand to serve. Never forget, it is our duty to stay forever attuned and committed to the Air Force's wants and needs at all times.

- I think we can all agree that effective teamwork is one of the most critical elements of success. Whether you're an Airman 1st Class working in the fitness center, a technical sergeant working in an electrical shop in the 341st Civil Engineer Squadron or a captain working on teeth at the 341st Medical Group, I'd bet that whatever your title is, and whatever job you perform here at Malmstrom, your personal teamwork experience starts with trust from the top down. If leaders can establish trust within their subordinates, no matter how small or how large the group, most of the other human elements of teamwork should naturally fall into place. This is not suggesting that there are not other challenges and conflicts involved; we know there always are. But I believe trust is the foundation in which teamwork is built, and that foundation is what helps us manage those challenges. I think most of us will agree that a working environment which builds trust at all levels is much more efficient and effective than a team with questionable trust qualities. But to earn and keep that trust requires you to always remain true to our core values; integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do.

- This is a product of learning. In other words, in order for us to progress (whether we are speaking in terms of leadership or followership), we must have a small sense of wiggle room. To grow, we must be able to learn from our mistakes. This small room for error is what gives our Airmen the opportunity to naturally progress and grow into leadership roles. It enables our Airmen to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Leaders and future leaders, please remember this fundamental tenant of training. Also key in developing your Airmen (and team), is allowing your subordinates to step outside the box to pursue other experiences such as a special duty or leading and participating in projects, as this further increases an Airman's well-roundedness. This should be encouraged, not discouraged.

I believe the success of our Air Force is a direct result of the continued commitment, teamwork and progression of our people. It is my hope that this recipe for success is not kept secret from anyone who wears our uniform. As Col. Stanley has said, "Our American citizens deserve no less."