Kirtland Talks: SFS/CC Chamberlin defines the “why”

  • Published
  • By Jim Fisher and Jessica Pacheco Semenyuk
  • Kirtland PA

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Every quarter a member of Team Kirtland gives a short, inspirational talk on various topics related to resiliency, called “Kirtland Talks”. This quarter, Maj. Shawn Chamberlin, 377th Security Forces Squadron commander, spoke on how he discovered his “why” and how Team Kirtland can discover theirs.

This Kirtland Talks interactive discussion started with laughter from the audience as Chamberlin told them a little bit about himself, emphasizing that he loves his job and loves what he does.

“I’m all about influencing,” he said, speaking about his Defenders. “And I’m all about leadership.”

Chamberlin went on to talk about his “why,” noting several hot topics in his life, to include his family and his military family.  

“I’m really big on family, really big on communication and relationships,” said Chamberlin. “That’s what matters to me and I think, as a leader, that’s very important.”

He presented the concept of discovering your why in the context of the Golden Circle. It starts with “what” which includesproducts and services that produced by a company, moving on to “how,” as in how the products are sold, what sets them apart from the rest, and finally,  “why” They are produced.  

“’Why’ is not about making money; ‘why’ is your purpose, your reason for coming to work every day,” he said.After spending time as a Security Forces officer, he felt he did all he could and was ready to move on and find a new job. But after a deployment, and encountering some slightly unmotivated Defenders, he changed his course and found his motivation to reamin in Security Forces career field: his Airmen.

“It made me sit back and think,” said Chamberlin. “What’s going on here?”

He took time to sit and talk with the troops, getting to the root of the problem which was a lack of leadership and mentorship.“To instill myself--to instill what I’ve learned and my mentorship and my leadership--into them, and help them grow,” he said, getting to the core of his why.

Too often people get caught up in the processes, he explained, citing the “never-ending” TMT, paperwork and the emails. But making time to sit down with teammates is essential. 

“So that’s my ‘why’. That’s why I’m here, that’s why I’m motivated, that’s why I get out of bed,” Chamerlin said. “It’s for that Airmen at the gate checking ID cards, helping them understand their ‘why.’”