Leadership by 'Silent B'

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Robert C. Schroeter
  • 22nd Communications Squadron commander
The Air Force is transforming to meet the challenges of today's operating environment. We depend on our Airmen to contribute by adapting to advance the Air Force mission, at home and in deployed locations.

To ensure their success, leaders must cultivate an attitude of positivity and 'can-do.' I take this task on day-to-day to support my folks to accomplish the missions they are tasked to.

Every leader has a philosophy they live by. As I looked back over my career to date, I remembered the mentors I had, both officer and senior NCO. From their teachings, I came up with this leadership philosophy by "Silent B:"

Sense of pride - Showcase your folks and the work they do. Provide them a clean and safe work environment. Do not miss a chance to recognize them and be totally committed and accessible 24hours a day. Access to you shows that you care and value their efforts.

Importance - Let people know where they fit into the big picture and how their work impacts the mission. Help them take ownership. Listen to their inputs; you may not use them, but they may spark ideas.

Lead by example - People learn from you, good or bad. Be a professional in all you do. Teach, mentor, coach and mold future leaders. Take a vested interest in junior Airmen because they are the future of our Air Force.

Enforce standards - It's the simple things that can lead you down the wrong path. Policies, standard operating procedures and discipline are there for a reason.

No mistakes - Mistakes are inevitable; admit to them, correct them and drive on. Convert them into learning opportunities.

Teamwork - Be loyal to the unit, its mission and its members/families. Help people around you be successful, they will make you successful.

Be happy - Have fun. Life is too short not to.

There you have it, Silent B's leadership style.

Now, I am not much for words. However, I am proud of the men and women of the 22nd Communications Squadron. The support they provide to Team McConnell (Airpower!) is unmatched by any other communications squadron in Air Mobility Command and the Air Force, in my opinion. They have pride in their work and ensure the 22nd Air Refueling Wing's mission gets done every day.

I can't take credit for their successes; I have to give it to the leadership of my squadron; the company grade officers, senior civilians, SNCOs and supervisors. Without them, I would create many learning opportunities each week.