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Chief's Corner - week of Feb. 27

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Intentional versus Incidental Leaders

The occasion of today's environment demands Air Force leaders to be intentional, not incidental. Intentional leaders invest in the lives of others. They know a great deal, both personally and professionally, about those they lead. They understand the passion and zeal that motivates the individual to do their absolute very best every day. Intentional leaders create opportunities for others to grow personally and professionally. More importantly, intentional leaders are routinely known for their desire to come alongside those they lead to help the individual navigate life's most difficult decisions and challenges. They do so with no expectation of self-gain; instead they provide leadership and guidance for the benefit of others. Most people can quickly point to the leader or mentor in their life that is very intentional.

So, what is to be said about incidental leadership? First let's establish a working definition of incidental. Webster's dictionary defines incidental as, "occurring merely by chance or without intention or calculation." Incidental is also synonymous with accidental, unintentional and fortuitous, just to name a few. Clearly these words would not instill confidence in others about their leader's ability to lead them or the organization. Leading by mere chance seems a bit disingenuous, often mechanical, and can even send a message of being noncommittal to the outcome. We owe it to our nation, our Airmen and their families to be intentional leaders. Leaders need not only understand the organization's mission but, even greater, the people that make the mission happen. The challenges we face in the years ahead calls for deliberate leadership. Which leadership style will you commit to - intentional or incidental?
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