Inspiring You to Lead~Transform~Perform!

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Lead with Fire: Inspiration from the recent graduates of the Air Force Academy

I had the honor of attending the graduation of the 2011 class of the United States Air Force Academy. My niece, Maggie Goff, was one of around 200 women out of 1021 graduates in this year’s class. What an amazing young woman she is! Attending a four year university is rigorous enough; add on top the military training and regimen, wow. It was a very proud moment attending her commissioning ceremony where she took the oath as an officer of the Air Force to become a 2nd Lieutenant. As part of the ceremony one of the speakers, Major Kevin Hornburg, spoke about the concept of Lead with FIRE. It was inspirational and so I am sharing with all of you.
The concept is whenever you are uncertain or need strength remember to ‘Lead with FIRE’. FIRE is this; have Faith, Be an Inspiration, be quick to Respond and Exercise your Duties. This is a simple yet powerful word that is also an acronym to rally the troops. It was stressed that when you are in an intense situation, which those in the military often face, always fall back on ‘Lead with FIRE’. It is a short mantra to focus your attention on what is important. As with most leadership examples, this one transcends its origins. Lead with FIRE can be employed in any situation where you are leading an organization or team.
Faith
When under duress it is imperative that you have faith in yourself and those you are leading. You are in your situation because of your ability to lead and execute. Have faith in your skills and the skills of those around you to get the job done.
Inspiration
You must be an inspiration to those you are leading. If you are not exhibiting an inspiration to accomplish the task, those around you will not step up to their best ability. Find the words and actions that will inspire your organization to rise to the task at hand.
Respond
Be quick and decisive in responding to what needs to be accomplished. Delaying or hesitating could mean loss and devastation whether it’s loss of your team or to your competitors. Many organizations fail due to being too slow to respond when it’s needed most.
Exercise
Everyone has a job to do in an organization. Exercising your duties and staying focused is part of leading and being part of a team. When you stray from your particular duty, you infringe on others and leave your job open and incomplete. As a leader you must stay focused on leading, let your team members do what they are trained for.
I found immense wisdom in this simple phrase. It can be applied to any situation involving a group of people whether it’s the military, sports, team, corporate, non-profit, and many more. Keep this mantra in mind while you’re engaged in your work and it will keep you focused in a productive way. Thank you to the United States Air Force Academy Class of 2011; you are an inspiration as you Lead with FIRE!

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