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Shaw, USC partner for leadership discussions - Part 2

James Smith Jr., University of South Carolina (USC) executive director of military programs and strategies, speaks to 50 Team Shaw members during the second session of the Team Shaw Leadership Development Council and USC Leadership Discussion Series at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Aug. 15, 2019

James Smith Jr., University of South Carolina (USC) executive director of military programs and strategies, speaks to 50 Team Shaw members during the second session of the Team Shaw Leadership Development Council and USC Leadership Discussion Series at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Aug. 15, 2019. The guest speaker of each discussion shares their unique leadership perspective on and experiences with successes, failures or both. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Maldonado)

James Smith Jr., University of South Carolina (USC) executive director of military programs and strategies, discusses his leadership perspective to 50 Team Shaw members during the second session of the Team Shaw Leadership Development Council and USC Leadership Discussion Series (LDS) at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Aug. 15, 2019.

James Smith Jr., University of South Carolina (USC) executive director of military programs and strategies, discusses his leadership perspective to 50 Team Shaw members during the second session of the Team Shaw Leadership Development Council and USC Leadership Discussion Series (LDS) at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Aug. 15, 2019. The purpose of the LDS is to further develop leadership within Air Force members and provide the opportunity for self-investment as well as the chance to take lessons learned back to their organizations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Maldonado)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --

During the event, James Smith Jr., USC executive director of military programs and strategies, spoke to 50 Team Shaw members about unique leadership perspective experiences with successes and failures. They also discussed how those experiences made them better and improved their leadership and those they lead within their organization.

“I think this is really critical,” said Smith. “We need more opportunities to connect our military community with the civilian community, and I think it happens in an environment like this.”

Smith continued to say he feels more opportunities are needed for civilians to hear from military members and vice versa. He wants more of the South Carolina community to know Air Force members here at Shaw, what they do, and build strong relationships between them.

“First, it is important to glean other’s leadership perspectives, such as with civilian leaders, to see how positive leadership in any organization makes it and its people better when applied effectively,” said Harvey. “Secondly, it creates opportunity to work with our partners in the community like USC, and ensure we are supporting our military members.”

Smith’s advice to young Airmen is to look for opportunities to lead, give meaningful feedback and show interest in what is happening, care about the outcome and have ideas on how it could be done better. Airmen should speak up to leaders they are working with, and let those leaders know their ideas.

“I think this is a wonderful opportunity; I want to come back,” said Smith. “I think the importance is to share experiences and leadership lessons to those coming along. There are always areas where we can improve as leaders. This is a great place to be able to share those lessons learned and those experiences that help others who are coming along to learn from those who’ve had other experiences.

Harvey said he hopes to further develop leadership within Air Force members, provide the opportunity for self-investment, and encourage Airmen. He also invited Airmen to participate in future sessions.

“There will be four leadership discussions total,” said Senior Master Sgt. Chris Harvey, U.S. Air Forces Central Command aircrew flight equipment functional manager. “Attendance at previous sessions is not a prerequisite to attend future sessions.”

The LDS events are held quarterly and invitations are sent to every Team Shaw member’s email. For questions and concerns, contact Harvey at christopher.harvey@afcent.af.mil or Master Sgt. Daryll Clark, Senior Master Sgt. David B. Reid Airman Leadership School commandant, at daryll.clark@us.af.mil.