Leadership Lessons: How to Get More Mileage With Personnel Maintenance

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. David Jackson
  • 319th Logistics Readiness Squadron
A long time ago, a very long time ago when I was a young staff sergeant, a vehicle maintenance chief gave me some mentoring on how to get more out of the Airmen you lead. Throughout my career I would often go back and read those notes on "Personnel Preventative Maintenance" and try my best to apply them to the Airmen that I am both directly and indirectly responsible for developing.

Anti-Knock Compounds
Nobody likes a knocker. When you run a subordinate down, you degrade both yourself and your shop. Accentuate the positive patterns and eliminate the negative nonsense. If you disregard this principle of people maintenance, you may soon face a big rebuilding job. People react whichever way they're treated--like jewels or jerks.

Lubrication and Oil Change
There is something complimentary you can say to each person in your shop. Compliments are the lubricants and oils that mix your people into an efficient and well-functioning unit interested in furthering your objectives. More than anything else, people like to be complimented on their good works and efforts.

Steering Mechanism
Solicit your worker's help in setting goals you want to achieve. Make them feel they have something to do with making decisions. Make them active in charting passages to success.

Regular or Premium?
Be profoundly interested in each person and convey the feeling in him or her that you care for them as individuals. Your concern is the finest fuel - it will accelerate the growth of your individual. This is one place that premium fuel costs no more than regular but takes you a lot further.

Motor Overhaul
Don't ask a willing person to do too much or he or she will soon suffer from early piston failure. Distribute the tasks among as many people as possible. This way each person's engine will give greater service and is less likely to misfire when needed most.

Give willing and hard working people an occasional break from shop projects and they will bounce back, rejuvenated and full of new ideas. With this tune-up they will be ready and able to run when a burst of speed is needed.

Quick Battery Charge
Give people frequent jolts of enthusiasm to spark them during projects. Arouse their spirits, inspire their hearts, and capture their energies for your goals.

Show Your Appreciation
Displays of appreciation often cuts down on depreciation. Service your people fully and faithfully, and then watch them operate for your shop on full throttle.

Try a few of these preventative maintenance steps and see if you don't get more mileage out of your Airmen.