Canal

What is the Inside Scoop on Your Team?

As a young Boy Scout, I enjoyed hiking and camping in the beautiful mountains of New Mexico. One area where we occasionally camped was near an irrigation canal that brought water to the dryer, lower elevations. We were always warned to stay away from the canal. Even though the surface of the water seemed to be calm, there was a significant undertow that would pull in an unsuspecting swimmer. More…

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Why Are You Out Here?

The question caught me completely by surprise. I had been assigned as the new maintenance officer responsible for over 100 mechanics and 27 aircraft. Since I had come from an aircraft maintenance background myself, I was excited about this opportunity. I was walking around the flightline one day and stopped to watch a couple of crew chiefs changing a brake. We exchanged pleasantries but didn’t say much else. Finally they…

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Some Random Thoughts on Leadership

When I was a brand new Air Force maintenance officer, my unit’s superintendent informed me that it was time for our annual breakfast. Each year the unit’s senior leaders cooked breakfast for the troops and he invited me to join in the cooking. It was a fun morning and I think everyone appreciated the effort. It wasn’t that they wouldn’t eat that day if we hadn’t done this. It was…

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Are You Telling Your People to do Stupid Things?

It was a Saturday morning and no other customers were at the pharmacy. My wife and I were at a large military hospital’s pharmacy to get a prescription filled. The gentleman at the counter looked at the prescription form I presented and said he could not fill it until eligibility was verified. Since I had never been to this pharmacy, it was not an unusual request as military health care…