Authority Magazine
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Authority Magazine

Life and Leadership Lessons I Learned In The Military: “Delegate authority and empower subordinates” with Carla D. Bass and Chaya Weiner

Delegate authority and empower subordinates. At one point, the Air Force lacked a formal, professional development program for senior airmen. Again, in the context of “take care of your people,” I asked a team of my best senior enlisted troops to fill this void. They created a ground-breaking, 3-day course that was widely lauded and subsequently implemented by other units. Delegating and empowering was precisely the right approach for 3 reasons: 1) The senior enlisted team appreciated the confidence and trust displayed in their ability, 2) They were, in fact, the experts on training required for the senior airmen, and 3) The senior airmen recognized that our unit was creating for their benefit a program that existed nowhere else in the Air Force. The Air Force ultimately created and formalized a similar program.

  1. Stay focused on the mission (don’t get caught up in office drama)
  2. Take care of your people; they will take care of you
  3. Always keep your sense of humor.
  1. Learn to write powerfully, this is a fundamental leadership skill
  2. Empathize with members of your team; consider situations and issues from their perspective
  3. Have the courage to adjust your position based on new information or subordinates’ input … and thank them for their suggestions.
  4. Take time to play as a group … celebrate accomplishments.

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