Set goals high, convince others, win big

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Richard Peterson
  • 374th Logistics Readiness
Think about this; have you ever flown a kite and been concerned that once it is airborne, you have little control of where it is going?

The wind dictates how high and in what direction your kite will fly. You just let it loose and give it more string as wind conditions dictate.

I compare this situation to goals and the importance of having them so you can direct or control where your life, or in the case above, your kite, is going.

Without goals we are all at the mercy of the "wind."

You may have heard that the 374th Airlift Wing did extremely well during March's Pacific Air Forces Initial Response Readiness Inspection and to those of you who participated in the monthly exercises this came as no surprise. Why? More than 10 months ago we set very specific goals, reevaluated them periodically based on performance during exercises and implemented change when it was needed, even up to two weeks prior to the IRRI.

Within the 374th Logistics R e a d i n e s s Squadron, we even made changes, both personnel and procedural, within 48 hours of the "main event." This willingness to make changes was only possible because we maintained focus on
our end state, an "Outstanding" grade and were not risk averse to redirecting efforts.

I have to credit my bosses here because through their support we created an environment open to change and thus instantaneous improvement.

Even when you set goals there is no assurance you will achieve any of them. Often we need help implementing and executing our goals. I remember addressing my senior leaders at a staff meeting in late August of last year and told them that they were going to be a part of something special and earn an Outstanding in Mobility and Reception.

It was a l m o s t comical to see the look of disbelief and shock on many of their faces. Most had never earned an "Outstanding" and many had no idea what it would take to get us there. They took a bit of convincing and we had some "doubting Thomas's" along the way, but in the end they all were on board.

Without their support, through the long hours and infinite challenges, we would not have achieved what we did. These great leaders carried the message and sold the entire team on the importance of our goals and how we were going to "get it done".

Convincing others to help you and buy into your plan for achieving the goals is often the main barrier to success. You can do little by yourself, but when you get "buyin" from your team and arm them with a vision and the means and attitude to get them off the ground, anything is possible.

I used to enjoy sailing on the Great Lakes when I lived in Ohio before I received my calling to the military. The winds there are powerful and will blow you wherever Mother Nature wants.

How you maintain control and help you reach your destination is through the knowledge of how to sail and the rudder of the boat. Without these you are always at the winds mercy. Having goals and a detailed plan of how to get there will put you in the "driver's seat" and enable you to reach your final destination, no matter how hard the "wind blows."