Name: Tom C.
Title: Business Strategy & Customer Relations Executive
Branch: Air Force
Years in Service: 27
Greatest Accomplishment During Service:
I was fortunate enough to be selected to have the honor of commanding.
Most Valuable Lesson Learned During Service:
There are two essentials in achieving success… effective communication (you convey and they understand what you are conveying), and effective training (instruction and feedback to instruction).
How did your military experience prepare you for where you are today?
It prepared me to deal with continual change and a multiplicity of personalities and leadership styles.
Effective leaders must be completely predictable and effectively communicate. In order to be effective, you must communicate to your team your expectations, your standards, your strengths and your weaknesses so that they can meet expectations and provide their unique skill sets at the right time to ensure mission success. It is also important to provide immediate feedback/responses to your team so that they know their inputs are genuinely regarded as important. Once you train your team, you must have the courage to trust them to meet your standards. Arguably the most difficult aspect of leadership is relinquishing total control, even though you retain total accountability. The better you communicate and the better you train will allow you to relinquish control and allow for trust. It is OK to have fun and smile, even when the task is tough.