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Dedication to others helps us shine as individuals

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. John Evalle
  • 60th Air Mobility Wing command chief
I have been an avid reader of leadership and motivation authors for many years and themes spliced together from two of my favorite authors have become integral to my approach to leadership success in the Air Force as well as life.
As described in "Habit Two" in Stephen R. Covey's top-selling book, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People," a powerful method of achievement is to begin with the end in mind.
The highest-performing leaders have the ability to visualize the goal or end-state of a project and can effectively communicate that vision to members of the organization. Covey also applies this concept to the importance for individuals to have a vision of success for themselves in life. By developing what he calls a personal mission statement, individuals envision what they want to be and how they want to be remembered in life.

In Zig Ziglar's most popular book, "See You at the Top," my favorite author states that "You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
One of the best parts of being a chief in the Air Force is having opportunities to help others. Helping others comes in many forms, but my favorite helping role is developing young Airmen into future Air Force leaders. There is no better feeling than when a member who you formerly supervised reaches out to contact you and thank you for the role you played in their personal or professional success.

Helping others succeed also contributes to the Air Force's overall success. We serve in the Air Force to execute our mission, and I always was taught that, as a young leader, I should take care of the people and they will take care of the mission.

Referring to Covey's habit two again, "begin with the end in mind," he asks us to imagine attending our own funeral service and thinking about how co-workers, close friends and family members would recount how we impacted their lives.

Doing this might help you better shape your personal mission statement. Ask yourself who the most important people to you are and what are the most important roles you play in your personal and professional life.

Bringing together Covey and Ziglar's themes makes great sense to me for developing a personal leadership philosophy. Thinking about how I define my personal and professional successes, I truly believe that the most meaningful success I can achieve is how I have made a positive difference in someone else's life.

Very similar to putting service before self, dedicating yourself to others is the best way for leaders to instill loyalty and inspire excellence in others. For me, being remembered as a loving and caring husband, father, brother, follower, leader and chief is my mission. What is yours?