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History repeats itself, opportunities don’t

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- To obtain and maintain excellence in all we do, each of us needs to take advantage of the opportunities available to us in order to become better technicians, leaders, supervisors and Airmen. This means getting out of our comfort zone and learning to do new things, or working to get better in the areas we are weak in.

The opportunities to step out of our comfort zone and take on new tasks and challenges to develop ourselves and our Airmen are plentiful throughout our wing and Air Force, whether it is leading events or projects in the unit, or through our private organizations such as the Airman's Council, Route 5/6, or Top 3.

However, these opportunities to develop ourselves and our Airmen are largely missed out on by most, as we tend to rely on the same cast of characters for most events, missing out on the opportunity to develop other Airmen throughout the wing.   

We must not always rely on the same cast of characters to complete our projects and events, just because we already know they can do it. As leaders, we need to encourage others to embrace the opportunities available to them, and develop more than just the select few who are already accepting the challenges. 

The business magnate and founder of the Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson captured the value of not passing on opportunity when he said "If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes then learn how to do it later." 

I challenge each of us, going forward to say yes to the opportunities presented to us, and if need be learn to do it later.  Accepting the opportunities and overcoming the associated challenges will only make us and our Airmen better leaders.  Better leaders, better Air Force, and that is what we need as we move towards becoming the smallest we have ever been.