Compassionate Leadership

Today I had a moment…one of those moments that remind you that staying true to yourself and your method of leadership makes an impact.

I do a personal outprocessing appt with each member of my unit. This individual was moving to a different unit across base. He loved being a supervisor- really good at it – and loves his maintenance work…but even stated he likes the people aspect more.

I always ask a variety of questions…ending with what they liked and what I can do better as a squadron commander and a leader.

He replied with this:
Ma’am, I do not know if you remember but my first big meeting with you was over a career field test failure. My airman was scared out of his mind about coming to see you and getting yelled at and not being able to do any work. His peers had told him that is what happens and he better get his mind together for it.

We walked in and I had only heard of you and had not really met you. But I walked out impressed.

You remembered my airman was going through some stuff and you asked him if it was okay if we discussed those things or if you wanted someone to leave before we even got started. You let him talk about how he prepped and what happened that day and listened.

You told him what would happen if another failure took place but you did it in a way that did not belittle him and he left the room feeling as if he could still pass and press forward with his career.

When he passed you even stopped by and just gave him a high five…no rehash of all the events…just good job and I knew you could do it.

I am so proud to say I am a part of this unit and i will miss seeing you lead like this and thank you.

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So leading with compassion is not always popular or easy but it is true to me and how I deal. Anytime you have to work with others you have options on how that interaction is going to take place.

In the midst of the crazy of Monday…i am sharing because leading with compassion and authenticity is not new or unique or different…I am not anything special but I try my best to remain true to myself and those that I have the honor of leading…today it worked.

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