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2 September 4, 2015                                        Commentary                                                                                                                                 BULLSEYE                                                                                                                                               

Money, manpower and minutes

By Capt. David Liapis                                      the fat and even meat has been trimmed and                   running around like decapitated poultry from                   sion, you’re preventing those “untrustworthy”
                                                           we’re now shaving bone. Sounds pretty doom                   can ‘til can’t, but what about the other “normal”              Airmen from earning your trust and learning
92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs                     and gloom, right?                                            days? What can we do to work on our time man-                  how to replace you someday.
                                                                                                                        agement skills so we become expert time users?
   FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash.—                           At this point we have a choice to make:                                                                                     4. Take a time management course. It’s well
I’m about to make a big statement, so pay                  are we going to take the motivational-poster                    Here are a few things you might consider:                   worth the investment.
attention.                                                 advice and not worry about things we can’t                      1. Put the smart device down more often.
                                                           control and do something about the things                    It could be making you dumb. Admit it, you                        5. Don’t be lazy. Laziness is the number one
   I believe anything physically possible can              we can, or are we going to give into the kind of             waste as much time as I do needlessly checking                 contributor to wasted time.
be accomplished with the right amount of                   despair expressed by Frodo Baggins in J.R.R.                 email, stocks, scores and updates. How many
money, manpower and minutes. That’s right.                 Tolkien’s Return of the King and say with him,               “TPS reports” could have been done or staplers                    The above suggestions are by no means
Anything. Just look at some of the amazing                 “The whole thing is quite hopeless, so it’s no               found while you were working on that perfect                   scientific or found in an Air Force Instruction,
architecture and technology devised by the                 good worrying about tomorrow. It probably                    play on Words With Friends? How many                           but they are derived from real-world experi-
Romans, Egyptians and others throughout                    won’t come”?                                                 meaningful mentoring conversations could                       ence. There’s no perfect answer to how to better
history. Look at where technology was 20 years                                                                          have occurred while we’ve been enamored with                   manage our time, but realizing we need to do it
ago (can you say “beepers” and “VHS tapes?”)                  Most of us in the Air Force have little to no             staring at a three-inch screen?                                is really the first step. From there you can come
compared to today and try to convince me                   control over budgets or manpower. Sure, we                      2. Learn ways to multi-task. Try reading                    up with your own snappy little list of steps (feel
anything possible is impossible with the right             can “Make Every Dollar Count” and try to be                  textbooks, promotion study material or other                   free to rip off mine).
mix of people, cash and time.                              the best managers of manpower resources we                   professional development books while on the
                                                           can be (both of which are great ideas), but at               treadmill or elliptical machine. It’s hard to get                 Archimedes supposedly once said, “Give
   However, the removal of any one of those                the end of day we only have as much of those                 used to reading while in motion, and will prob-                me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on
three components will severely hamper the ac-              commodities as we have.                                      ably make you go blind ten years early, but isn’t              which to place it, and I shall move the world.”
complishment of whatever goal we undertake.                                                                             that promotion or degree worth it?                             I say, “Give me enough money, manpower and
Take away two and it becomes nearly impos-                    I know many of us also have little to no con-                3. Learn to delegate (and trust) your sub-                  minutes, and we can do anything. However,
sible; three and the word “impossible” must be             trol over our schedules or the fact we have to “do           ordinates. It’s true, most Airmen are fully                    since we’re constrained by budgets and con-
added to our vocabularies.                                 more with less,” but our time is really the one              capable of doing so much more than we push                     gressionally mandated manpower levels, I’ll
                                                           third of the trifecta of possibility over which we           them to do. Stop overtasking yourself and that                 settle for Airmen who know how to manage
   We live in an era of less in the Air Force              have the most control. If you disagree, read on              one really good NCO and spread the wealth.                     their time well.”
— less money, less people and, seemingly, less             anyway. I hardly agree with myself.                          You’re not only hurting yourself and the mis-
time — yet, we are still managing somehow to                                                                                                                                              Keep making every dollar count and bal-
get the job done ... for now. Our top leaders have            We’re all bound to have those days every once                                                                            ancing manpower as best as possible, and let’s
been trying to warn our elected officials that all         in a while where all hell breaks loose and we’re                                                                            all see what we can do about maximizing the
                                                                                                                                                                                       1,440 minutes we get each day.

Remember past to help inform present

By Chief Master Sgt. ChristopherToney                      the moment we drove through the South Gate                   will train, lead and care for their loved ones. the leaders and supervisors who took us under
                                                           until we arrived at the airport, which is about a
60th Force Support Squadron                                20-minute drive.                                             Ourmostimportantresponsibilityasleaders their wings, took the time to care, looked us in

   TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — Like                       As we were unloading his luggage from the                 is taking care of our Airmen. Sometimes we get the eyes and asked how our weekend was. They
myself, I am sure most of you have heard the               van, he never stopped conversing about this
saying, “Don’t forget where you came from.”                topic and as he was about to board his military              so busy that we lose sight of this.  All of us are took the time to explain, care and shape us into
                                                           aircraft, he turned to me and his parting words
   Several years ago, as I was looking through             to me were “don’t forget you were once them”                 guilty of it. We get busy meeting suspenses, de- the leaders of the future.  We must do the same. 
some boxes of my military memorabilia, I ran               as he waved goodbye.  Those six simple words
across a thank you note from Gen. Stephen                  have stayed with me and every day I make an                  ployments, exercises, computer-based training We should want our Airmen to succeed.
Lorenz, who at the time was a lieutenant general           effort to remember them. 
and the commander at Air University.  The                                                                               and numerous other things.                                     The Air Force needs solid leadership and
thank you note ended with the words “look into                The older I get and the longer I remain in the
their eyes” and was presented to me in 2006 for            Air Force, the more I focus on the patience and              But are these really excuses?  Not only are we must find and develop this leadership po-
protocol support I provided to him when I was              caring attitude my early supervisors had with me.
the protocol superintendent at Goodfellow Air              They saw potential and they worked on develop-               we responsible for putting bombs on target, we tential as early as possible. There will be times
Force Base, Texas.                                         ing and honing that potential into what, almost
                                                           26 years later, has turned into a fair and caring            also are responsible for bringing those loved it will mean some long days because the day
   General Lorenz came to Goodfellow to speak              leader who can make decisions and balance the
at one of the noncommissioned officer academy              mission needs with those of the Airmen.                      ones home safe and sound and ensuring that isn’t over until our Airmen’s needs are met. It
graduations. At the end of his visit, I remember
driving him to the airport. We got into a con-                As leaders, we are responsible for our                    America’s sons and daughters are taken care of.   means investing the time many have already
versation about taking care of Airmen and he               most important resources: America’s sons
passionately spoke about how important he felt             and daughters. Their mothers and fathers                     Airmen notice when their supervisors care invested in us.  
it was for noncommissioned officers to take care           who do not know our names or who we are or
of their Airmen. This conversation lasted from             what we look like hold onto a prayer that we                 about them. They remember when their chief Get to know your Airmen. Know their lives.

                                                                                                                        and commander visited them at the First-Term Know how to recognize if there is a problem

                                                                                                                        Airman Center or Airman Leadership School or a change. The simple message that Lorenz

                                                                                                                        or when their supervisor checked the quality conveyedtomewithhispartingwordsandwith

                                                                                                                        of their dorm or helped resolve a child care or those words he wrote on the thank you note

                                                                                                                        housing issue. They remember that pat on the was: Take the time to care about your Airmen.

                                                                                                                        back for a job well done.                                      It pays huge dividends by fostering teamwork

                                                                                                                        Few of us who are leaders became leaders to get this nation’s mission accomplished. This

                                                                                                                        overnight. It took years of practice and some goes hand in hand with being a wingman. The

                                                                                                                        failures to develop into what we are today. We time we invest will pay off for our Air Force and

                                                                                                                        can’tforgetwherewecamefrom.Wecan’tforget our Airmen.

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