Leadership and expectation

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. – -- Expectation is a gift and a pillar of successful leadership; in fact, Yale University list Leadership Expectations as a key attribute and competency for their leaders. These expectations parallel and expand the expectations Air Force leaders should impart to subordinates.

The leadership expectations for Yale’s leadership are as follows: demonstrate integrity and character, achieve outstanding results, inspire and develop people, and lead innovation and positive change. The first expectation is synonymous with the Air Force core value of integrity first. Air Force leaders exude integrity, but there are a few areas we can emulate from Yale's expectation model. The expectations that sometimes fall short in leadership is inspiration and development, as well as fostering innovation.

A decisive quality that differentiates leaders from managers is inspiration. The way a leader inspires is leading by example. Leaders must first demonstrate and epitomize the example they want others to follow. It's hypocritical to expect others to achieve or exceed standards you are not emulating. Development is a key ingredient to effective leadership. Development consists of giving subordinates clear goals to achieve personally and professionally. Last, but not least, is fostering innovation. Our heritage is based on innovation. General Billy Mitchell risked his career to advocate Airpower and the expansion of the Air Force; innovation is the backbone of airpower and the Air Force.

I challenge you to always lead by example and set the bar high—this will inspire others. Develop your subordinates and expect them to do great things. Allow members of your unit to be innovative and dream, this will make the Air Force more effective and efficient. Ultimately, inspiration, development and innovation will solidify our primary objective, to fly, fight and win!