In the Air Force, it is believed that everyone should be a leader. Although leadership itself can be somewhat difficult to pin down because everyone has their own unique approach, this branch of the US Armed Forces has identified certain traits that can help people become truly great! Although incorporating these Air Force leadership traits into your own style isn’t a guarantee for success, it will lay down a foundation where success can happen.
Above all else, leaders treat everyone with dignity and respect, regardless of their situation. It doesn’t matter who it is, what they are doing, or if praise is deserved for a job well done – leaders always treat others in the manner they’d wish to be treated themselves.
Leaders also encourage others to be great. Instead of saving people and doing the work for a team, leaders will give their team the tools that are need to figure out a problem. Here’s the best part – quite often a team’s ideas for problem-solving are better than the leader’s ideas.
Being accountable means more than just taking responsibility for the good and bad choices that are made. It is about accepting blame on behalf of a team, solving the root causes of a problem, and being consistent in thought and action even when no one else is around.
4. Actively Listen
Great leaders do more than just listen. They get involved. Active listening means letting others speak their mind without interruption. It means getting onto the same page with someone without allowing personal opinions or feelings that can corrupt the communication process.
Great leaders will correct a problem immediately when something comes up, but this is done with more than just a few harsh words. Leaders help people see the mistake that was made and how they can learn from that mistake. Plans are put into place so that the learning lessons can stick. Discipline is ultimately about allowing people to choose whether to learn or whether to falter.
For some in the Air Force, courage means sitting in the cockpit of an aircraft in order to engage the enemy. For others, it means standing up for what is right even when no one else will do so. That’s why leadership can be a lonely journey to walk sometimes, but it is one that is quite worthwhile.
When no one is concerned about who gets the praise for a job well done, then a lot of amazing work can get done very quickly. Great leaders shouldn’t be concerned with taking the glory from an accomplishment. The credit always goes to the person who did the work, not the leader who dictated who should do the work in the first place.