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Are you involved or committed?

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Brian Wong
  • 624th Regional Support Group
I recently heard an analogy involving a common breakfast meal, Ham and Eggs. "With Ham and Eggs, the hen is involved, while the pig is committed." 

I enjoyed reading this, since it involves food, but I don't think we can substitute any other pair - spam and rice, fish and chips, hotcakes and sausage, and peanut butter and jelly all don't work very well. So, let's start this off by asking, "Are you a hen or are you a pig?"

I guess in some situations, one can be a hen, while on other occasions, a pig, but for today, let's focus on being a pig. I like to think that our leaders are pigs. What did I just say? Leaders are pigs? Well, maybe not really, but for analogical purposes, let's say that the better ones are.

A leader is more than being able to yell the loudest... more than having everyone liking you... more than being a consummate speaker. A leader has qualities, that when put together, resonate, "He knows what's going on, the direction is steady, follow him (her)!" It has been said that some people are "born leaders" while for others, leadership is a life journey filled with events, big and small, that build upon one another.
I think I fall into the latter.

So, how does one become a pig? There are many books, examples, courses, and other resources that will help to hone your leadership skills. I will share a few thoughts that have helped me in my career.

Integrity First - Yes, this is right from our Core Values. Leaders must have impeccable integrity. Without this cornerstone, all else is fluff. You must be true to yourself and to others. Do not jeopardize integrity for self gain. Stay on the straight and narrow - always. Temper all decisions with this core value and everything else should fall into place easier.

Two ears and one mouth - use proportionately. Some people like to hear themselves talk. We need to listen more than we speak. Many times we can miss important facts by interrupting or speaking too much. I'm not saying that you should not get your point across, but rather ensure that you make an intelligent contribution based on all relative information.

Service Before Self - Here's another Core Value. Be careful with this one. We must all focus on the mission and do whatever we must to achieve the objective, our own interests notwithstanding. Along this line, not all decisions are immediately made with the brain. Sometimes the heart needs to get involved. Take the time to think about the people that will be affected by your decision, and how they will be affected. Sometimes there's an equitable solution in challenging situations when you use both the heart and the brain.

Take a chance -make a decision. In whatever position you are in, you will make decisions at that level. Use all information available to you to make decisions, and do not waffle. By not making a decision, a decision has been made for you. Remember, be a pig.

Excellence in all we do - Did you think I was going to leave this one out? Great leaders do great stuff. They don't go halfway. In all that you do, do it with all your might. Remember how much effort we used to put into that art project when we were kids? We were so proud to show it off to our parents. That's what we need to do. Do things great enough to want to tell your parents. I just gave you a few nuggets to help stimulate a hunger for more. There are many books to read, "Good to Great," "Integrity," "The Fred Factor," "We Don't Need a Title to be a Leader," and many more. Latch on to a mentor. We don't need to be like the great leaders of times passed. We all can be a leader in our own regard. You are a leader if you decide to undertake the mission for the unit. You are also a leader if you focus on your skill level training, setting the unit in better readiness position. Strive to be better each and every day and you too can be a pig.

Carpe Diem!