Commit to your PERSONAL BEST
By By Col. Merrily Madero, 17th Training Wing vice commander
/ Published August 04, 2007
GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
So what is "your" best effort? It is most likely totally different than "my" best effort because you are an individual, with individual goals, wants and needs. So not everyone's "best" will be the same - and that's OK. But if you commit to "your" personal best, you will be making a difference in yourself, your squadron and our Air Force.
Each letter in the words "PERSONAL BEST" stand for something important, and implementing these concepts will allow your best to get a little better:
Pride: Every single person working here at Goodfellow AFB was 'selected' for the position they are in--from the Airmen who made it through basic training, to the NCO's, SNCO's and officers who undergo competitive selections/advancement, to the civilians in their rigorous selection process. Everyone should be proud of those individual achievements. Work hard and be proud of the work you do, for you are not only supporting your squadron or work center, but the Air Force as a whole.
Enthusiasm and energy are contagious. Everyone enjoys working with people who are excited about what they are doing, and take the initiative to 'get out there' and get the job done. Do what it takes to add a little enthusiasm and energy into your day-to-day job and you will see that spread all around you.
One of the most important things for every individual is to take responsibility for their actions. Everyone is going to make a mistake at some time, but when you make that mistake, stand up and be accountable. Help and assistance is generally granted to those who freely admit their mistakes and are willing to take immediate corrective action. However, those who lie, or try and deflect the blame to others, are shunned and will find little or no support from others.
We all need to think about safety and not just at work. You only have to read a few of those "Darwin Award" emails to realize a lot of ridiculous things can and will happen. Think about safety at home and at play, and always remember, "Don't drink and drive." We also need to look out for each other by completely supporting the USAF Wingman Program.
Being open in your communications with others, and also being open to new ideas, are how we advance as an organization and a society as a whole. Encourage open communication with each other and even to the senior leadership. Air Force leadership can't fix the problems if they don't know what the problems are, and that's the sane here at the 17 TRW. Also, we all need to be thinking 'out of the box' to incorporate new ideas whenever we can. The AFSO21 program is a great example of ways you can make a direct difference and be recognized for your good ideas.
Everyone on this base should be nurturing and mentoring someone. Even the most junior Airmen on this base can make a difference in the local community or with the newest person to come onto the base. Mentoring and nurturing of others should be going on at all levels. However, don't always just expect it to happen to you. Seek & ask- when you see an individual you respect and admire, ask them to mentor you - even if they are not in your squadron. There is also nothing wrong with having more than one mentor. Every NCO, SNCO and officer should be mentoring others and nurturing all those they come in contact with. It's important to share your time and experiences with others.
Setting and achieving goals should be on your 'to do' list. However, first you need to make that list. Sit down and think about your goals - and not just your goals at work, but education goals, or spending more time with your family. Once you write out those goals, make a plan and start working on achieving them.
Loyalty: We all know what that is - but often it's hard to define and understand. Life in the military demands our loyalty. We are required to be loyal to our country, and to our chain of command. It's easy to often complain about the actions of those above your pay grade. However, take a minute and look at the issues from their perspective. Sometimes you will never understand the decisions of those above - since it's impossible to "tell" the whole story to those not directly involved. Just have some faith they are doing what they believe is in the best interest of you, your organization and the USAF. It's OK to question, with respect, however once the decision is made you need to support it - and be loyal to their decision.
Learning to balance all areas of your life in not an easy task - but it is one you need to think about now and then. We all need to find that balance, but also realize that "perfect" balance will not always stay the same. There will be days when manning is critical at work and the balance will shift to work. Then there will be times of critical situations in your family or home life and your balance may have to shift to your family. And there are times your faith and belief will stand the test of time. That's all OK. We just need to be sensitive to that shift and the shift of those around us, and those who work for us.
Efficiency: "We've always done things that way" is not a phase anyone should allow. Know there are always better ways of doing things. Don't tolerate working harder or longer because "they've done it that way in the past." Find the smarter way.
We all need strength to do our jobs, and that is not something we get lounging on the sofa. Physical fitness needs to become part of your lifestyle. Work out regularly and not just your body. We need to expand our minds as well -- turn off the TV and grab a book; take a class to expand your mind; volunteer with a community service group - you will be a better person for it.
Teamwork is one of the most important aspects within the military. We just can't fight alone anymore. No longer are we fighting wars in isolation. No longer are we the single flying service, as each service must learn to fight and operate jointly. On this base, no one organization can operate alone. We need each other and we need to work together. We are one team here at Goodfellow.
This is my personal philosophy, which I developed over my 22 years in numerous and various leadership positions and opportunities during my life and Air Force career. I encourage you to apply these principles to your life, and know that if nothing else, you will feel the pride in accomplishing "your" personal best.