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Investing in people

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- In today's military, people are our most valuable resource. As anyone can plainly see, we are surrounded by highly trained, well educated and extremely dedicated people. Without their collective efforts, the mission wouldn't be accomplished and success would be unreachable.

One of the most rewarding things a person can do is to help another reach their full potential. Mentoring, grooming, teamwork, commitment and strong leadership make all the difference.

Staying connected with our people is key in the foundation of mentorship. We also have to inspire and set the example. Everyone's enthusiasm, dedication and energy is invaluable. It is our responsibility to provide the necessary training, tools and environment for our people to become successful. Above all, we must care for one another, establish accountability, reward when appropriate and foster professional and personal growth.

As supervisors, one of the many jobs we have is to recognize the hard work our people accomplish every day. Recognition can take on many forms. For some it involves an immediate pat on the back, and for others it requires more formal approaches.

I firmly believe the most important products in a person's career are officer performance reports, enlisted performance reports, promotion recommendation forms, civilian appraisals, awards and decorations. On one hand, these products are important because they are the key factors in determining a member's potential for increased responsibility, recognition, awards and/or career opportunities. Additionally, these products create fertile ground for positive motivation.

If people have confidence that their supervisors are committed and interested in their careers, it is only natural that performance will increase.

One clear indicator of supervisory commitment is the quality and timeliness of performance measurement tools. Career enhancement is a critical part of supervision. Too often I have seen products that are started late or done with little attention to detail. Regardless of how well you write, a last minute product has an increasing probability of not accurately reflecting your people's accomplishments. Please treat these products with the degree of seriousness and attention that they, and your people, deserve.

Finally, I challenge you to be a better supervisor. The military needs you to do your part to keep great people in service. My advice is to immediately mentor, groom and commit to our people. Begin supervision with open dialogue and timely documentation.

Though it is often unspoken, our commitment to our people can be heard loud and clear. The degree of involvement separates those that care from those who dare to make a difference. By making a difference, we shape the lives and careers of those around us. Thank you for this honor.

It is a pleasure to serve side by side with the number one resource--our people! Together as one team, there is no stopping the world's greatest military. I know you'll carry on with pride, honor and excellence!