Career Focus: Our future is in excellent hands

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, New Mexico -- Organizing, facilitating and teaching enlisted professional enhancement classes are my favorite and most fulfilling career advisor duties. I'm passionate about teaching and learning, especially when the subjects are leadership and management. When I recruit instructors for these courses, I seek leaders with the same passion. Together, we hope each student will pass on what they have learned to make our Air Force better.

Like every student, each class has its own personality. Last week, I taught a group of feisty Airmen at an Airman Professional Enhancement Class. APEC introduced them to leadership and management skills. For many, it was their first glimpse into the theories their bosses have learned and practiced. APEC taught them how to get the mission done better. It also taught them how to motivate and take care of people. It was an intense class that covered 24 lessons in four days. Subject matter experts taught personnel programs, bullet writing, communication skills, management theory, the enlisted force structure, award programs, progressive discipline, professional relationships and much more. Each student was asked to absorb a lot of information and each handled the challenge brilliantly.

During the leadership and management lesson, the Airmen focused their attention on every word I spoke or wrote on the board. We discussed the differences and similarities between a leader and a manager. We talked about managing change. We explored how quality, innovation, speed and cost affect every company's ability to compete. We talked about how effective leaders and managers foster good human relations, share information and convey their vision.

The students were passionate about learning. They had strong opinions about what made great leaders and managers. They got fired up when we discussed the importance of fostering morale. They discovered processes within their work centers that could be improved. Their debates criticized ideas and processes, not individuals. Truly, I cannot recall a more dynamic class.

The goal of every enlisted professional enhancement class is to teach Airmen how to improve personal and team performance. Airmen are given reliable tools and information to get the mission done, and they are always eager to apply what they have learned. Beyond the sheer thrill of teaching our future leaders, it's reassuring to know that our future Air Force is safe within their capable hands.

If you would like more information about enlisted professional enhancement programs give me a call at 846-6636 or e-mail me at joseph.mulcahy@kirtland.af.mil
See you in the wings!