Let us dare to be great!

  • Published
  • By Col. Harold W. Linnean
  • (08th Airlift Wing
I t's a new year, which brings each of us a fresh opportunity to improve upon last year. But, it also requires you to fight (figuratively and not literally) to be better -- to be great. The American Civil War provides a perspective on the importance of a fighting mindset.

President Abraham Lincoln faced criticism for keeping General Ulysses S. Grant as a commander. (Up to that point, Grant's performance was not perfect. He had even been relieved of command at one point.) However, Lincoln knew the value of a fighter -- that relentless commitment to the job and mission. When asked whether he should replace Grant, Lincoln replied, "I can't spare this man. He fights."

The decision to stick with Grant proved to be a key factor in winning the war.
As Airmen, we all are leaders, albeit at different levels on the leadership scale.
Even if you are not an appointed formal leader, you can be an informal leader. In either role, being a leader is a tough and challenging job especially when faced with a lack of resources (e.g. funds or manning).

While those factors may affect your ability to do the job in a timely and efficient manner, do not wait around thinking it will improve. On the contrary, a lack of resources is the new norm in today's fiscally constrained environment. You must realize it, understand it, accept it, and (most importantly) be flexible with it.

   During UTAs, refrain from asking the unrealistic question of "will you accomplish all tasks 100 percent perfect and on time?" Too many uncontrollable factors affect achieving "perfection." Instead, focus on what you can control -- your fighting spirit.

Therefore, the question we need answered is, "will you fight?" Will you fight to keep your unit manned, trained, and equipped? Will you fight through funding and scheduling delays, "red tape," and network glitches? Will you fight to do your job?"
I say, fight's on. Let us dare to be great!