WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --
The Whiteman Air Force Base Professional Development Center hosted the John C. Maxwell Leadership Seminar as part of the 12 Days of Development series of briefings, panels and seminars on Dec. 11, 2018 at the PDC auditorium.
Retired Senior Master Sgt. John De La Rosa, an executive director with the John Maxwell Team, ran the seminar. John C. Maxwell is the founder and namesake of the John Maxwell Team which has a focus on leadership and growth which De La Rosa spoke about.
De La Rosa, who was previously stationed at Whiteman AFB before his retirement, described what he thought the key takeaways of the seminar should be.
“I want people to understand that personal growth, constant reading, constant development with themselves is a daily task,” said De La Rosa.
He said people can learn what changes they need to make through the failures they experience.
He began the seminar by interacting with the audience as they entered the auditorium. He spoke about his 21-year career in the Air Force where he worked in the fields of aircrew flight equipment and maintenance, and as a Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) instructor. Following his retirement, he wanted to help others and became an instructor with the John Maxwell Team.
“Everything rises and falls on leadership,” said De La Rosa, quoting John C. Maxwell.
He explained that self-discipline and anticipating things with a positive attitude helps to build the positive momentum. It also requires people taking ownership of what they bring to the table. Without this momentum several things will suffer including morale and performance.
He described managers as those who put out fires and solve problems while leaders build momentum.
De La Rosa said there are 6 truths of momentum, which are:
Momentum is a great exaggerator
It helps followers perform better than they are
It is easier to steer than to start
It is a powerful agent for change
Responsibility of the leader requires vision and assembling a good team
It begins inside of you, requires not only vision but passion
He talked further about capacity and how each person has their own capacity of what they are capable of. It is important to consider the variances in that along with the fact people are often afraid to step out of their comfort zones. An example of that within the Air Force are Developmental Special Duties, where NCOs at the top of their career fields are taken out of their element to grow in an area outside of their normal work.
De La Rosa said this is the right direction for the Air Force.
“In order to increase that momentum, you have to be able to increase your capacity,” said De La Rosa. “In other words, allow the demands of life to expose you to the potentials that you have so that you can start operating in those abilities that were already placed in you.”
In terms of reaching potential he said that:
“Positive momentum is an indicator that you personally are going in the right direction, so if you’re winning in life then you know you’re doing all the right things,” said De La Rosa.
In addition to the main topics, De La Rosa put an emphasis on networking outside the office at events on base like awards ceremonies. He also explained mentoring as doing all the talking while coaching is also asking questions. Throughout the seminar he brought up some questions for the audience to ask themselves: