Be a servant leader to Airmen, families

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Greg Warren
  • 62nd Airlift Wing
Before I get into the topic of the day, I first want to say how impressed I've been since arriving - the Airmen of McChord get it! From our senior leaders down to our most freshly minted Airman, I have seen nothing short of excellence and professionalism here and I'm honored and humbled to be a part of this team of winners.

As you all well know, our second core value is Service before Self. What does that mean exactly? The key word here is service. It is my sincere belief that to be an effective leader you have to serve first, especially your fellow Airmen and those Airmen you're responsible for. This is what I mean about being a servant leader.

A famous strategic thinker from India named Kautilya, wrote in the 4th century B.C.: "The king shall consider as good, not what pleases himself but what pleases his subjects."
Great leaders, at heart, are servants first, they make a conscious decision to lead in order to better serve others, not to increase their own power.

There are some key attributes to being a servant leader:
1. Patience. Be patient and display self-control when things aren't happening as quickly as you'd like them to.
2. Kindness. Be kind. Give your Airmen your full attention, lots of appreciation, and encourage them always. Mother Theresa once said, "Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."
3. Be humble. This means being authentic without any pretense or arrogance.
4. Always be respectful. Everyone is important no matter where they fall in the chain of command, so treat them that way.
5. Be a selfless leader. Always be ready to meet the needs of your fellow Airmen.
6. Be forgiving. Don't hold grudges or harbor resentment when wronged.
7. Be honest. This means being free from deception.
8. Be committed. Be committed to your leaders, to your Airmen and to the Air Force.
Remember this quote from one of our greatest presidents, Theodore Roosevelt, and remember it well: "Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care."

This is what servant leadership is all about. People will not commit to you and your leadership until they know that you are committed to them. This is the kind of leadership team that I believe is in place here at McChord - a team that is totally committed to you, your families and your future.

As we begin this new year, let's take the time to remember our blessings and be thankful to our families, friends and fellow Airmen.

As our 18th Air Force commander, Lt. Gen. Robert Allardice has said: "We as Airmen generate the mission, but it's our families who generate us".

Let's not forget to take care of our families, say thank you and show them how much they're appreciated and part of the team. Happy New Year!