Leadership Lessons: Are you committed?

GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Commitment. It's a pretty powerful word we should not take lightly. Commitment is a promise to do, a promise to be loyal to something or someone. Most importantly, commitment is an attitude. Think about it. The committed are the go-to guys who do not fail. The ones you want by your side when things go wrong... or all the time for that matter.

Many people say they are committed, but what they really mean is they are merely interested. When you are interested, your emotions control your outcome. You stay interested until something better comes along. You are interested until you get tired. You might stick with something for a few weeks or a few years, but if you are only interested and not committed your interest will fade.

It is easy to blame this fade in interest, this failure, on everything and anything when you are only interested. We have all heard it before "It's my parents fault," "The boss doesn't like me," "The test wasn't fair," or "I'm being discriminated against." Unfortunately sometimes those things are true, but the committed react in a different way and are never defeated. The committed never fail.

I see examples of commitment every day. I see examples of commitment in the mornings at physical training. (Both good and bad.) There are those who hustle and those who don't. There are people pushing for that extra rep, and those who would rather be someplace else and are just going through the motions. The committed are truly trying to better themselves. The committed do not waste opportunities. Guess how many times the committed fail their PT test. You can bet it's not very often. Why is that? Because they have put in the time and do not hover around passing. They have made excellence their mark.

Commitment shows up on the job. I see examples of great Airmen who show up every day ready to work, ready to give it their all, ready to contribute. I see Airmen being the example, contributing, making a difference, and changing the Air Force. And then I see people skating through the day, doing the bare minimum, hoping they don't get called on to do something. How sad! Wake up! This is your life and you are going to waste it! What are you bringing to the table? Are you showing up every day?

I see commitment in enlisted corps, true commitment. Those taking the time to develop and mentor our Airmen. Those who are setting the example and holding the line every day, great NCO's who are giving constant feedback and caring for our Airmen. Those are the 24/7 NCOs who are always available and in this Air Force, OUR Air Force, with both feet. What's the difference between them and you? Are you committed? Or are you on the sidelines? Guess who are the ones getting promoted? The committed!

At one point we all voluntarily took an oath and said we were committed to the Air Force. Think back to that time and the reasons why you raised your right hand. Pull out the Enlisted Force Structure and read it. I do almost every day. It motivates me to see such great responsibility detailed in this little book. It motivates me even more to see committed Airmen living up to this fine book.

These are lean times in today's Air Force and it's surprisingly easy to see who is all in and who is not. Are you 100 percent focused on leaving an impact in today's Air Force? Or are you just passing through?

Be the example and leave no question where you stand. You are the committed!