Leadership matters

Col. Daniel Lasica -- What do you think, does leadership matter? Based on my experiences I firmly believe that it does, so much so that I think that everything rises and falls on leadership – everything.

There are many different definitions of leadership and I’m sure you have your own. One of the best definitions I’ve found is from Christopher Kolenda, author of Leadership: The Warrior’s Art. He defines leadership as, “the art of inspiring the spirit and the act of followership by turning the soul towards some good purpose.”

Let’s briefly break apart this definition.

Art – Leadership is an art, the application and expression of skill and imagination by a craftsman.
It is a very subjective endeavor that a person with the will to lead strives to master and improve.

Inspire – Leaders inspire people. It doesn’t necessarily mean a person has to be charismatic or outgoing, as people are inspired by leaders who earn their respect and trust. It’s also important to realize that leadership is a verb, an action word. Everyone can and should be a leader when the situation calls for it, whether that person is in a position of authority or not.

Spirit – Leadership is an affair of the heart and soul, a human endeavor. It also requires courage, one of the most important aspects of leadership. This is because leadership is about action and action requires courage, something I think we can all relate to.

Followership – Leadership is a choice. It’s a choice by the person that aspires to be a leader and who has the will to lead. It’s also a choice by those who choose to follow because without followership, there is no leadership.

Good Purpose – Purpose is our why, the reason we exist and the reason we do things. Every person has their own why, as does every organization. It comes from within, is outwardly focused and points to the future, and it must be aimed at making a positive difference in the world.

If all this is true, then I believe that leadership does truly matter and that it is especially important in the 20th Fighter Wing, here at Shaw Air Force Base, and in our Air Force.

Leadership will help make our Airmen better people and better warriors. Our Airmen, in turn, will make our mission better and we will fulfill our purpose – Victory by Valor!

Do you have the courage and the will to lead?