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Leadership--One Aspect that Helps Everyone

I have heard the best speakers on military leadership; read mandatory books and articles and attended schools just to learn how to be a good leader. I would like to provide a view of one aspect of leadership that occasionally needs emphasis! Mentorship is a critical part of leadership and insures our follow on leaders receive the information, job skills, hard knock lessons and knowledge they need to meet the needs of their future units, country and even their families.


I have also witnessed great and not so great leaders at work. One characteristic of a great leader that I admire is the one that provides opportunities for those they lead to excel! They find a way to push, guide and let those they supervise grow! They know when to give guidance and when to let lessons be learned without killing a career or opportunity. The best leaders know how to let the younger personnel shine without taking away their own luster. In fact, they do it so well that when the young leader shines, their mentor does as well!

A great leader mentor does not spend all their time looking up at headquarters or their own supervisor but most of their time looking after the troops! I have seen a lot of careerism from some not so good leaders that usually gets them to where they want to go but leaves those behind who worked so hard for them with little to see from their efforts. The team feeling just isn't there!

A great leader's mentorship includes having the best recognition programs, a frequent pat on the back for a job well done habit, follow on job assignments, being fair to all and remembering those who worked with and for them! A great example I actually have seen is an Air Force Wing Commander who led and mentored so well that 6 years after leaving his job as wing commander I can not count the number of new wing commanders he helped create through his mentorship! They are all over the Air Force and they admire the leader who helped shape them!

If you are a leader be a mentor as well! It will payoff in the end and we need leaders like you!

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