Tackling performance head-on pays big benefits

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Rodney Billinghurst
  • 62nd Maintenance Group superintendent
I am absolutely amazed at how well our Air Force and Team McChord accomplishes the
mission and honestly, at times I'm challenged to comprehend just how we do it. If we spent the time to peel it back, we'd probably find solid leadership and direction, team work, resources and ultimately individual performance at the core of our successes. We all deal with one of these factors daily -- performance, be it our own, or the performance of those around us. 

Bucking a trend I've noticed in the last few years, I encourage people to deal with performance head-on. It starts with self assessment. 

When things don't work out as well as expected we need to ask ourselves why. The
first thing I do when things don't work out is to look in the mirror and ask myself a few

Did I underperform? 
Did I fully understand, define or communicate the requirement? 
Did I properly plan to accomplish it?
Did I have or make ample time to accomplish the requirement? 
Did I ever really decide to get it done well? 

I realize there is no "I" in "team" but "me" is in there and frankly, a lot of the time the teams I work with depend on "me"-- another great reason to self assess as part of the problem solving process. I don't need to spend time or resources chasing symptoms if I can determine my own performance caused a shortfall. Let's leave the smokescreens or alibis behind when we realize we've got room to improve. The last time I checked, we all did. 

When supervising, we can take a similar approach. There's no reason to crush people,
but there is a need to get to the real cause of a shortfall. If the root cause is a member's performance, let's call it and take the right action to improve it. Again, we've all got some room to improve. 

Leaders and followers alike stand to benefit from tackling performance head on. Let's look at performance honestly and stay clear of alibis. 

We'll find ourselves making smart, lasting improvements and solving problems logically.