Leadership: it's a team sport

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col Marissa Carlton
  • 22nd Force Support Squadron
Leadership in the Air Force isn't simply a role you take on based on a position you've attained or your expertise you apply to a technical problem. It's an activity of monitoring and adapting to the challenges presented to your unit to ensure mission accomplishment and effectiveness. It’s allowing yourself to be vulnerable and caring for the personnel in your unit as much as the challenges your unit may face. Leadership is not an opportunity provided to only the unit commander but an opportunity for personnel at all levels of responsibility.

My quickest and most meaningful two years in the Air Force have been at McConnell AFB where I've had the privilege to lead a team of professionals who tackle arguably the most diverse portfolio on base. Having experience in few of the nearly 30 activities I've been selected to lead is only made manageable by trusting in my team of professionals, allowing them the space and freedom to do their jobs and asking lots of questions so that I might learn in the process.

A few things I'm certain of:
• There are never enough hours in the day.
• People will make mistakes.
• The customer isn't always right.
• Not all ideas are good ideas.

The leader is just one being, but together your team will not just overcome these obstacles but achieve new heights. When your team knows their expertise is valued and that their opinion is wanted, we find innovative solutions, care for our customers and have some fun along the way. Work hard, play hard.