Hey Ma, look at what I own

  • Published
  • By Maj. Rey Gonzalez
  • 319th Logistics Readiness commander
Think about the time you made your first big purchase with your own hard earned money. How did you feel? Was there a sense of pride in accomplishment? How about a feeling of achievement?

My guess is although you were pleased with being the new owner of (insert your purchase here), there was also a sense of personal satisfaction in realizing the fruits of your efforts. At that point in time, you didn't just buy your item, you owned it. And not only did you own it, you probably were proud enough of your purchase that you told your momma you owned it.

It's this frame of mind we should keep at the forefront of our mind as we carry out our duties in supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States. As a practical example, as we continue ramping up toward the unit compliance inspection in our immediate future your challenge should go beyond just running your workcenter checklist and putting a book together.

Take the time and make a concerted effort to own your programs. Make yourself an important part of this incredible team called the Air Force. Be enthusiastic about your squadron and your contribution to your flight's success. When inspectors come through your areas, be the first to stand up and metaphorically say, "I own this program and let me show you what makes it sierra hotel!"

Supervisors, take a look at your Airmen. Are you developing them into what the little brown book says they should become? How are they coming along in their training? Are their customs and courtesies constantly reinforced? Are you grooming them to become leaders?

These questions are simple to ask, but they're difficult to always respond to with a resounding "yes".

Recognize that not everyone will be a success story and not everyone will be a leader. After all, leaders need to have someone to follow them. The trick is to get to know your Airmen along with their strengths and weaknesses.

Nobody ever said that being a leader or supervisor was easy. It comes with responsibility that sometimes makes us uncomfortable. At the end of the day leaders "own" their Airmen, and should work to bring out the best in them.

Finally, consider your daily conduct and character. While perfection is a goal to work toward, we're human and our capabilities do have limits. Only you know what those limits are, but here are a couple of simple questions to think about: Do you give your daily tasks your best efforts? When you sign your name does your signature resemble a Picasso or can a stranger actually identify who signed the document?

If your actions and character were put on film for people to review, would you be proud to look someone in the eye and say, "Yup, I own this"?