Eglin Airman remembered

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  • Eglin Top Three

A short time ago, Eglin suddenly lost one of it's own, Master Sgt. Rafael Silva of the 96th Logistics Readiness Squadron. Silva was known for his love for his family and his passion for wanting to help and professionally develop anyone that asked.   During my term as Eglin Top-3 Professional Development Chair, Silva submitted the following article for our professional development newsletter.  In remembrance of his desire to help others, and to share a small piece of him, as a tribute I share this article with all of Eglin.  - Chief Master Sgt. Charles Butterbaugh, 96th Communications Squadron. 

Diversity is critical for an organization's ability to innovate and adapt in
a fast-changing environment. Military organizations are greatly diversified in terms of culture, the structure, the specific roles it plays, the mission and the people.

As such, cultivating
success in a military organization requires unique management expertise, but most importantly critical leadership and management styles and characteristics.

One leadership characteristic to consider is empathy. Empathy entails understanding what  subordinates and other Airmen go through and ensuring their issues are handled effectively. Airmen deal with many stressors that in some cases lead to development psychological disorders.

A good way to motivate and care for them is to tend to their psychological and social needs.  Military organizations and society as a whole need to show support for these Airmen. Motivation and moral support are at the heart of military strategy. Good morale can only be realized with physical health, mental training, appropriate medical measures and camaraderie.

Another way of cultivating a successful military organization is to lead from the front. In the military, the leader must always maintain the best pose, behavior and physical fitness. They should always strive to display the best example to their followers or subordinates, hence leading by example. This entails ensuring rules are enforced, standards set by the Air Force are maintained and promises are not broken. They should be hardworking and produce results to motivate others to do the same. This will display whatever the leader is asking others to do, they can and will do as well and add to their credibility as a leader.

In addition, leaders need to learn how to take risks and make quick judgments, sometimes with incomplete information using their experience and expertise as a guide. The important thing is to gather enough intelligence and come up with a good plan based on what has been collected.

Air Force provides enough opportunities and guidance and offers continuous training on decision-making skills to prepare their leaders and military personnel. Apart from this, leaders and personnel need to show an appetite to learn because skills increase as individuals are exposed to diverse and more complex situations. Therefore, eagerness to face new challenges is a good motivator to work effectively. Individuals who seek new experiences have a better chance of strengthening their skills and ability to lead as compared to those who don't.

Furthermore, empowerment and delegation help to motivate employees. As much as the military thrives on respect for the chain of command, leaders should not assume they cannot continue to learn from others. A very large part of empowerment is allowing their Airmen to offer ideas and contributions, allow them to participate and have buy-in in the process.

In fact, to ensure s
uccess in any military organization, leaders and managers need to surround themselves with talent and identify and develop this talent. An organization that does this is destined to quickly grow and become more effective because their members are cultivated with skills to achieve goals and objectives and fosters teamwork.

A final critical ingredient is teamwork. Teamwork is significant because
each person is able to contribute their ideas and expertise to accomplish various goals or missions, while learning from others and expanding their network. For teams to be successful, diversity of knowledge, backgrounds, cultures, and expertise that each individual brings to the fight, ensures no one is left behind. If they stick together to achieve excellence no matter the obstacles they encounter, they will never falter, and will not fail.