Passion drives success

  • Published
  • By Col. Karl A. Schmitkons
  • 512th Operations Group commander
An old cowboy saying goes, "Nobody but cattle know why they stampede, and they ain't talkin." 

I know why I do what I do; and, if you ask, I'll be happy to do some "talkin." So what gets you moving? What motivates you to be in the Air Force Reserve and do your particular job? Please talk; get with your supervisor or mentor and let them know why you move. Communication is best when it's a two way deal. Let your teammates know where your passions lie. 

According to Franklin Covey's leadership training, a great leader considers it "his or her job to release the talent and passion of the team(members) toward the team's highest priorities." 

As supervisors, we need to get to know the people who work with and for us. What drives us? What are our interests and goals at this time in our lives and careers? If we can put our people in positions that tap into that well of energy and inspiration, we can enable them to have much greater impact on the success of the team. Most people actually want to do their best, and a good supervisor does his or her best to remove the roadblocks and speed bumps to enable them. 

Sometimes, of course, we're not able to actually move a person to the right position, but we can still gain from unleashing the talent within. Perhaps there is a way to apply that talent to the job you're already doing. Or, with your spare time (we all have tons of that don't we?), use your talents to help someone else with a troublesome project. This situation flows into our core value of "service before self." Use your creativity to find better ways of doing tasks. Yes, if it's not broken don't fix it, but even unbroken processes can use a tune-up now and then. 

That leads us to attitude. We all know a good attitude goes a long way toward making an undesirable task go quicker and come out better. Finding your passion and being enabled to apply it can make it easier to keep that good attitude. Keeping a good attitude can clear any fog from our minds and make it easier to find your passion. That's a cycle that can "make a lot of hay." Feed it to the cattle - maybe they won't stampede. So, start "talkin."