Why all the talk about leadership?

  • Published
  • By Col. Thomas Mora
  • 120th Airlift Wing Vice Commander
I often get asked, why does the military spends so much time and energy talking about leadership, I don't lead anyone.  While the first part of this statement is true, that the military and private sector spend a lot of time on leadership, I disagree with the idea that a person may not be a leader.

The leadership focus is due to the fact that we are all leaders.  At its core, leadership is an intense journey into self-awareness.  It is about how much you are willing to learn about yourself, and how willing you are to adapt to your increasing knowledge of self.
Leadership is also a test of tension, how much tension you can bear without being influenced negatively.  Leadership is as important for our own personal self-development, as it is in development of others.  At the starting point, we must be able to lead ourselves to positive actions, choices, discipline, and growth based on an evolving knowledge of our current state.    Who you are is directly correlated to the leadership you have provided to yourself.

A key element of leadership I subscribe to is that leadership is about moving people and organizations from "here" to "there".  Leaders get to define what "there" actually is, and then lead others.  No matter what our current leadership roles, we all get to lead ourselves to that next desired level of "there".  A key task for each of us is to define what is our "here" and what is our "there"?  What goals are you leading yourself and others to achieve?  As Airmen, we are all leaders in some form.

Another key to ask yourself, "who can I help get from "here" to "there", and who can help me get from "here" to "there" in my journey"?  Seek out mentors to assist you in your personal leadership journey, and seek opportunities to help mentor others on theirs.

Vigilantes, thank you for all you do, and thank you for your leadership!