The five personal values that I think are important for me to harness as a leader are teamwork, ambition, adaptability, enthusiasm, and coaching/mentoring. Teamwork I believe is the main part that any leader should be wanting to gain from any project or tasking. Though I utilized adaptability as the third in my list both values are transformational in what they mean. Being adaptable and able to be a team player means that you can let go of your fears and have the courage to develop and grow. Ambition I chose as my second because a leader should be able to always be pushing not only the team but first themselves. My fourth value is thought that was important to add into my top five was enthusiasm. This value is an asset because enthusiastic behavior is contagious, and others feed off that positive energy. Finally, coaching/mentoring is something that rounds the top five of my values. So, it`s my personal philosophy of leadership.
Being a leader, you need to be able to make the people that you are working with better. The last two values help develop levels of motivation and commitment. At the end of the day a leader should be showing the team how to work together and striving to make individuals how to make a difference within the group. Also, the leader should be leading a life of selfless service because they are in the position that people are looking up to and seeking knowledge from. These are why I think the five personal values I chose are important to be instilled in a leader. Making sure you demonstrate an upbeat, passionate approach to the team but also individually helps to make positive changes in behavior within others and giving them the tools to be a synergized unit.
First knowing who you are as a leader makes a vision statement by itself. The type of leader I want to be in the future has changed from the when I first joined the Air Force. When I joined, I strongly believed that being liked and having strong outside social relationships helps people want to follow your leadership. In the past years I have found that this is not so, according to the ways that I choose to lead. In the past year I have worked with people who run organizations and you would never have a relationship outside of work but would lead by example and have a certain style that wanted you to follow them. This is the type of leader in the point of my career I would like to strive for.
A type of leader I avoid are those who cannot clearly answer why we’re doing what we’re doing. Leaders should have a clear vision, be able to represent their vision, own it, and finally have the drive to complete their vision into its end.
My vision statement is as follows,“I will live each day as though I had all the power and influence necessary to make it a perfect unit. I want to have an open mind that includes constant learning and improvement for myself, but that also creates an atmosphere of pleasurable learning and improvement for others.”
This statement sums up the type of leader I want to be because it is showing the qualities of the top five values that I specified earlier. Being to have an open mind and wanting to learn strives me to be adaptable and enthusiastic about situations. An atmosphere that is pleasurable for learning and helps improve others falls in line with my coaching and mentoring value. Finally, the whole statement gives me a goal to be able to give back what I have been taught to help others succeed.
My three personal strengths are speaking, energetic, and social/people skills. These are my strengths now because I have been working on them for years. All three tie together. I have always put myself in situations that pushed me to be out in front and giving me the chance to speak or teach about what I am saying. Though this was not easy for me at first, it slowly become something I was comfortable with. I can use my energy to speak to people which builds on my social skills. Even though I am outgoing, able to build relationships, and motivated to do this now I have some weaknesses that I need to improve on.
Three personal areas of improvement I need help with is empathy, being spontaneous, artistic. For being an outgoing person, I still wonder why I am not empathetic and as spontaneous as I would like to be. I think that I need empathy because I am not able to always put myself in other people’s shoes. I can talk and make my way through people’s problems but am not able to fully understand what they feel deep down. I feel that this is an important to have especially if I want to become a better leader because everything is not black and white.
Being spontaneous is another that I struggle with. As I am adaptable to situations as a leader, I still want a schedule and have control of situations. If I had my day planned, I start to get anxious if something else is thrown into my day. My itinerary is what makes me comfortable. If someone was to wake up one morning and say, “let’s go hiking,” I need to have a schedule, the map of the area we are hiking, weather forecast, and items we need to accomplish this hike.
The final weakness I have is being artistic. In my perspective I think that the way to being artistic is that you have it, or you don’t. I find that this is a weakness because in being a leader you not only need to be spontaneous with your skills you need to creative with your ability to lead. Just being able to adapt to situations is not enough. If situations arise there are times that a leader needs to be creative to complete a task. Luckily, I have worked with members in my team that are able to do what I can’t because of my weaknesses are. I would like to change this and be able to learn new skills that others have.
My three weaknesses empathy, being spontaneous, artistic are what I strive to improve on in my action plan. The way I am going to develop these weaknesses is by playing off my strengths. I have currently begun to work on my development in these weaknesses. I have had the opportunity to begin this training but have not had the time to complete the training.
The resources I need is being around people who are empathetic and those who train in that type of work. The classes that I take help with me being spontaneous and creative because I get called on randomly to work at places, I am not familiar with and must be adjust to the environment that I am presented.
Becoming an instructor in the bystander training has become a passion of mine because of a recent suicide in my flight. I have listened to trainings over and over but have never been able to truly understand until it affected me personally. Even though I was not intentionally looking to work on my empathy at that time I felt that because of that incident I can use to build on and show others how to deal with this situation.
My end goal to have my weaknesses as a part of my strengths is within two years. Staying with instructing can help me reach out to others and hopefully give me an understanding about what it truly means to understand others that have gone through similar situations. Also, I aim to complete my MRT so I can a in depth feel of what resiliency training is. A plus to this is that I have taken the class on 7 Habits of Highly Effective people and was able to see my weaknesses beforehand. In that class there is a whole section about empathy, which was very informative.
As far as spontaneous and creative. I am taking on a role in the part of our flights innovation team and working with Phoenix Spark. Another task that I am a part of is building a SharePoint for my squadron. I am taking lessons with comm squadron on how to build a site of caliber and working with others that use web design and that have creative art backgrounds. A task that was currently completed with my team was a training video. I was currently trying to be creative but was not able to fully see the vision of this task. I asked a member of the flight to help and within three weeks it was complete. With his training on video editing and seeing different angles I am now currently making my own rafting videos when I guide in the river with Out Door Rec. I hope to be able to be complete within the same two-year timeframe, but I know that this will be something I will be always be aiming to perfect.
Realistically I think that this plan will work as far and the empathy and spontaneous regions but as far as the artistic field I believe that is the part I will have the most trouble with. I can only be so creative, but I will try my hardest. To complete not only that task but all tasks.