GREAT FALLS, Mont. --
“Change is inevitable, progress is optional” –Tony Robbins
Seems like everywhere we turn change is happening! New mission, new facilities, new personnel, new plans, new systems, new requirements, new training, new retirement options, the list goes on and on.
Will we ever operate in a steady state? We all know the answer to this one. Look back on the world, your career, or your life. When has change not been a part of it?
Some of the changes I have seen over the years might look something like this: four airframe conversions, the end of the Cold War, eliminating home station alert missions, 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, BRAC, facilities upgrades like the fire department, operations, weapons shop, corrosion/fuels facilities, several main hangar remodels, new DFAC, medical, communications, security forces, front gate, reduction in support functions, increase in “self service” systems like AROWS and DTS. I even remember cash payments, checks and direct deposit, at least five variations of uniforms over 35 years, “strategic reserve” to “operational reserve”, EPR’s/OPR’s, CCAF, budget-no budget with continuing resolutions, government shutdown and times when we didn’t enjoy the support of the community the way we enjoy and appreciate today. These are just a few samples from my recollection. Do you get the point?
Change requires us to be “on our game” at every turn, I can’t help but chuckle on the inside when I hear a comment like “this isn’t the Guard I joined”. Of course it isn’t. When you look in the mirror it’s not the same face you saw in the past, there are changes, subtle though they may be. Your families and your children continue to change as they grow. Life is change.
We have achieved some phenomenal successes despite all the change. Our ongoing deployments prove again and again that this is no accident. Our successes are won by our team of great Airmen! If there is one exception to change it would simply be this: No matter what the mission or tasking the Airmen of the 120th Airlift Wing will always deliver in an outstanding and professional manner.
So what’s the bottom line? Of course change can be a frustration. Don’t fear it. Do the best you can to prepare for and embrace it. Don’t let the frustration of change impede who you are, how you engage, and most importantly how you lead. Instilling this in our Airmen will serve them much better than a negative verbal barrage of frustration from those who are paralyzed by change. Overcoming, adapting to, and creating positive change is leadership by example.