Commentary Search

  • Overcoming failures of followership

    The Air Force invests a substantial amount of time and effort developing and nurturing its leaders through countless courses, but with the rank structure of the military shaped like a pyramid -- where there are far more followers than leaders -- what emphasis is placed on followership? Leadership scholars have said that organizations succeed or
  • The Opportunity to follow is afforded to us all

    The great fallacy of this generation is to distort being a follower as something undesirable by the constant exhortation, "don't be a follower, be a leader." This broad sweeping statement deepens the stained misconception that being a follower is inherently bad. When in actuality, followership is a natural recurring process of life. Furthermore, we
  • Defining followership

    Followership. We don't hear much about followership. We kind of intuitively know what it is. We don't see the same number of books written on followership as on leadership. We don't talk about followership as much as leadership. We all aspire to be great leaders. Do we aspire to be great followers? Who's the most inspirational leader you've ever
  • Compassion as a key to ethical, professional leadership

    Compassion is defined as a profound human emotion prompted by the pain of others. More vigorous than empathy, the feeling commonly gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another's suffering. It is often, though not inevitably, the key component in what manifests in our social context as altruism. In ethical terms, the various expressions
  • Image

    Grieving family members huddle close as a freezing rain falls on Fort Logan National Cemetery, a dreary reminder of the somber events of the day. Seven former Air Force members, four retirees and three veterans will be laid to rest today and it is our job to ensure they receive the most professional and dignified service possible. This time-honored
  • Securing the network

    In the 1960s, the Pentagon looked for a secure way to keep its lines of communication going in the event of war. The interlinked packet networks of computers became the Internet. Fast-forward to today and that system of open protocols brings the enormous benefits of the Web to civilian life. But, the Web has also become an open field for cyber
  • Attitude makes all the difference

    Have you ever seen that drawing of the young woman sitting at a mirror? When you change your focus, the young woman with her back to the viewer, looking into a mirror suddenly turns into a profile of a very old woman looking to the left. The same picture can have two opposite and distinct images, depending on how you look at it. In the Old
  • Linking job contributions to mission

    As Airmen, we hear time and time again, "We can't let the mission fail." "The mission is the most important objective." "Mission accomplishment is imperative," and so forth. And I believe all references to mission success are categorically true -- as mission failure is not an option. However, what is the mission? Many years ago, I entered the Air
  • What do you believe?

    Many years ago, a wing commander who had just selected me to be her executive officer sat me down to conduct my initial feedback. The approach she used has stayed with me over the years and I want to share it with you. She started the feedback by taking out a small three-ring binder that contained a well-worn set of slides entitled, "What I
  • Air Force core values: Airmen must live them

    Before going to any theme park or water ride extravaganza one usually checks to see how much it costs to get in. How many Airmen checked to see how much it cost to join the Air Force? Sure most checked to see what the salary would be, maybe even what kind of education and health benefits are provided, but how many checked to see the price of one