<i> <b>Energize, educate, execute: Three important components of personal leadership </b> </i>

  • Published
  • By Maj. Shawn Campbell
  • 62nd Services Squadron commander
Growing up, the Peanuts comic strip was one of my favorites. 

I could identify with Charlie Brown, not because he was often called a "blockhead," but because, no matter how hard or how often he tried; every time he raced to kick that football, Lucy would snatch it away at the last second; and he'd end up on his back.

How often have we felt powerless, unable to attain a goal or see a clear path to success?

In training sessions I conduct with Services professionals, I often use something Anita Ruddick, the founder of The Body Shop stores, said about feeling ineffective.

She said, "Anyone who thinks he is too small to be effective has never been in bed with a mosquito."

What matters most is not position on an organizational chart, but rather what the individual brings to the organization. Each of us is a leader: formal, informal or both.

Each of us has an incredible capacity to be the positive force and effective agent we desire to be right where we are.

There are scores of leadership models and philosophies, libraries filled with scholarly works and countless academic studies focused entirely on leadership.

To me, there are three "E's" of personal leadership when it comes to being effective: energize, educate and execute.

Personal traits such as integrity, loyalty, selflessness, servant heart, intelligence, moxie and others are requisites, but moving to action is my focus here.

Everything starts with energy. Renowned business consultant, Jim Sullivan, said, "A leader is never energy neutral. 

You are either giving people energy or taking energy from them." Energizing is critical to success because most of us don't stray into success by pure chance.

Bring energy to your leadership. Enthusiasm is contagious!

Educate! We all have responsibilities to complete career development courses, on-the-job training requirements, professional military education and more.

Others actively pursue off-duty college education and professional certifications. This is critical to personal growth.

Noted leadership author and critical thinker, John Maxwell, in his book Leadership 101, posits, "The first person you lead is you." 

Once we stop learning, we soon find ourselves looking beyond the virtual horizon, but lack vision, knowledge or understanding.

Pursuit of knowledge makes us better equipped and more experienced leaders.

No amount of energy or education makes a difference if you don't execute.

A leader is given to action ... he must move forward to effect change in any organization or to simply ensure mission accomplishment.

As you go through the day today, think about the three "E's."

Do you bring energy? Are you pursuing education? Are you executing?

I submit that if we do, McChord, which is already an incredible place to live and work, will be even better.