2014: Reflections on Leadership for a New Year

Chief Master Sgt. Stuart Allison is the command chief of the 509th Mission Support Group at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. He is currently deployed with the 407th Air Expeditionary Group as its superintendent. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keenan Berry/Released)

Chief Master Sgt. Stuart Allison is the command chief of the 509th Mission Support Group at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keenan Berry/Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- We've all seen the news highlighting active-duty Air Force manning reductions in the 25,000 range, between eight to 10 percent of the service. I know many of you are worried. I'm not focused on 10 percent, but I'm focused on 90 percent. The Air Force still provides opportunities as we move forward.

Going into 2014, it is easy for us to focus on the negative and develop a defeatist attitude.

Since when has that worked for any Airman? Focus on what you can control and that will lead you into a focused and deliberate 2014.

Here is how I am looking forward to 2014 and I hope you do the same:

Honor & celebrate:
I will reflect on what happened in 2013. I ask myself, "What were the successes of not just my own but my team?"

Be raw, real & honest:
On the flipside, I will be honest with myself. "Where did I fall short?" "Where do I need to improve?" "How can 2014 be different?" "How can I carry these lessons forward into the new year?"

Give heart and soul:
I know that the world will not wait for me. I must go forward with what I know will work and what I need to improve. I must give it my all in order to make 2014 a success.

Be legendary:
I will ask myself, "How can this be my breakthrough year?" "What quantum changes are needed to make this year memorable?"

Everyone is a leader:
"Motivation is everything. You can do the work of two people, but you can't be two people. Instead, you have to inspire the next guy down the line and get him to inspire his people." -- Lee Iacocca

If you decide to change for 2014, you will inspire the same in others. I know that I cannot do the work of my entire group. I must show my Airmen the right perspective and they will follow.

Perspective is the key factor when it comes to how you face and respond to change. You have a choice to buy into the negativity of the news or you can switch to a positive perspective.

Go forward into 2014 as a leader.