This excerpt comes from Leadership from 30,000 Feet: Attributes of Effective Leaders as told by Five Air Force Generals, an anthology by Two Blue Aces’ contributors. To read the rest of this story and many others like it you can purchase your own copy on Amazon!
Title: What's in Your Sock?
Author: Rob "Mumbles" Polumbo
“Competence goes beyond words. It’s the leader’s ability to say it, plan it, and do it in such a way that others know that you know how—and know that they want to follow you.” — John C. Maxwell
In 1986, I arrived at Kunsan Air Base in the Republic of Korea for my first fighter assignment. I was a qualified—but still green—F-16 pilot and brand-new second lieutenant. I had been assigned to the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, “The Wolf Pack,” recognized as one of the most competent combat units established after World War II.
After meeting my first operational wing commander, Colonel Nels Running, “The Wolf,” it was immediately evident that he viewed the mission of the Air Force—to fly, fight, and win—as his highest priority. He also knew it was the commander’s responsibility to set the tone for the entire unit. The Wolf, through his diligent desire to lead through competence, always led the pack from the front.
The Wolf flew. The Wolf fought. The Wolf won.
This was made apparent to me on a day I’ll never forget.
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