Career Focus: What makes an organization tick?

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Joseph Mulcahy
  • Career Assistance Advisor
Wow! Another intense week has passed. If your week was like mine, it was filled with lots of work, lots of people and lots of running around. It was one of those weeks when even after you have removed your watch, you continue to check the time on your empty wrist.

Staying busy and engaged in work benefits the mission. It can also help us find meaning and satisfaction in our careers. However, it's always good to examine the things that make us busy. We may find tasks that can be eliminated or reorganized, and this should improve our performance.

Ask yourself the following questions: Are you like a hamster running wildly on a wheel without accomplishing much? Are you managing time well by planning ahead? How much time do you lose shooting the breeze with co-workers? Answers to these questions can help you discover and eliminate inefficiencies and improve your performance.

Additionally, it's important for everybody to know the key ingredients of successful organizations. This will help us improve our unit's performance.

So what makes an organization successful? Every organization must have skilled employees and skilled employees are developed with training. The Air Force invests millions of dollars to equip folks with technical and managerial skills. If you think about it, we train constantly. I learned this years ago when my sister asked me what the Air Force did when it wasn't fighting wars. I was stumped for a second until the answer came to me: we train to fight wars.

Additionally, the Air Force provides tuition assistance to help us acquire off-duty education and training. This helps us develop personally and professionally. It's this constant training that makes us great. A commitment to training is a top priority in all organizations, but successful organizations must also reach outside themselves.
Every organization relies on people outside of it.

For instance, we need lawmakers and taxpayers to fund our operations. If we don't budget wisely or perform effectively, our funding may be reduced. We are also required to work closely with our sister services to support national policies and objectives. Networking locally gets things accomplished too. It's astonishing how much can get done with a simple phone call to a friend or contact in another organization. Finally, we rely on spouses, families and friends to help us get the mission done. Programs like Hearts Apart, Heart Link, and Spouses in Action enhance our effectiveness and help our families adjust to our demanding way of life. Training and networking are essential for success, but no organization can operate without resources.

Every organization must have ample, efficient and dependable resources. In the business world, the lack or inefficient use of resources limits profit. In our business, the lack or inefficient use of resources can cripple our national defense. Therefore, all of us are charged with using resources wisely. This is incredibly important today when budgets continue to shrink.

Everyone is responsible for organizational success. If you see a way of doing things better, make it happen. If you find that your training programs could be better, get with the training experts and make it happen. If you want your organization to succeed, the most important factor is the desire to make it happen. Desire fuels the will to get things done.

If you would like information regarding Air Force programs, career benefits, or opportunities that can improve personal or organizational success give me a ring at 846-6636 or e-mail me at
See you in the wings!