Do it, Do it right, Do it right the first time

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Brian Spease
  • 509th Munitions Squadron
At some point in everyone's career or life, there will come a time when you will reflect on a person, experience or saying that you always carry with you and refer to from time to time for inspiration, motivation or in my case guidance. 

When I was a zero striper at my first duty station, my maintenance superintendent would always refer to a certain saying when he wanted to make a point with his young impressionable airmen. The first time I was introduced to this saying was when I was issued my Career Development Course materials. Back then, we didn't have the structured process we use today when dealing with CDC's, you were issued all the volumes at once and given a date for completion. On the day I received my materials, my supervisor said we had to stop by the maintenance supervisor's office so he could talk to me. 

I was standing tall in front of his desk and he said, "Airman Spease, I expect you to 'Do it' (these CDC's), 'Do them right' and 'Do them right the first time,' do you understand me?" He proceeded to explain why they were so important to me and the Air Force. That moment has been seared in my mind for over 20 years and I have always used those words as a guide for every undertaking I have completed. The reason it had such a powerful impression on me was how he related the words to action.
The first two words of the saying, "Do it" are so simple but carry so much meaning. As he stated, not everyone is a doer, many you will work with during your career will be content with following the doers. If you become a doer you will go far in the Air Force. It isn't easy being a doer because when others are at home, taking a break, at lunch or just goofing off, you, the doer will be working, "Doing it." You will have many headaches and trials as a doer but in no time others will be coming to you because you are the leader, the one who knows what to do. Deep in your soul you will be content with the satisfaction of truly being a part of completing the Air Force mission. 

The second part, "Do it right," is something that is difficult and requires effort on your part. To "Do it right" requires that you look at the problem or task from all angles. Many times, as you peel the onion back you will find the root cause of the problem. In today's fast paced Air Force, we need to ensure we do everything right and completely so the issue doesn't come back again to be worked. Remember, this was my maintenance superintendent telling me these kinds of words over 20 years ago. I find it amazing how his advice is as applicable today as it was back then so I have always figured it was pretty good advice to live by and so far, it worked pretty good for me in my career. 

The final part, "Do it right the first time," became very important as I moved into positions where I was responsible for the actions of others and as I quickly realized there wasn't enough time in the day to get everything completed. He said, you will understand someday that if you slow down and "Do it right the first time" you will be much farther ahead than if you try to get everything done as fast as possible. He said, I promise you, there will come a day when you will not have time to go back and repeat tasks over. Again, he was spot on with this advice. I have always used this approach with everything I undertake and tried to ensure everyone I work with takes this message to heart so they don't have to learn the lessons the hard way. 

As I stated earlier, I have used these words to guide me throughout my career and it has been the simplest yet most valuable piece of information anyone has ever given me. Always remember, in your daily activities, "Do it, Do it right, Do it right the first time" and I am sure you will find yourself a more productive member in our United States Air Force.