Fly, fight and win - are you committed?

  • Published
  • By Col. (Dr.) Otha L. Solomon Jr.
  • 71st Medical Group commander
Are the words fly, fight and win only a slogan to you or does this Air Force mantra impart a way of life for you? 

Any successful organization or corporation is dependent on the commitment of the individuals in its work force. Thomas J. Watson Jr., an author and business philosopher, wrote, "The basic philosophy, spirit, and drive of an organization have far more to do with its relative achievements than do technological or economic resources." 

Their success is transcended by how strongly the people in the organization believe in the basic precepts and how faithfully they carry them out. The thing that makes us a strong and viable Air Force is our personnel -- active duty, Reserves, civilians, and contractors. 

The most important single factor in individual success is personal commitment. This is defined as the act or quality of voluntarily taking on or fulfilling obligations. Commitment drives action on the part of the individual. 

It is a pledge to commit yourself to a purpose, belief or line of conduct. Commitment occurs when your thoughts and emotions are pointing in the same direction. There is a slogan that captures the essence of this philosophy -- "Stand for something or you'll fall for anything." 

As members of something that is larger than us, we need to recognize that together we make our organizations, and ultimately the Air Force, successful enterprises. 

There are a few areas where I feel commitment is most important. 

Commitment to the mission -- As dedicated, professional Airmen and warriors, we are very much aware that the Air Force mission is first. Are you prepared to sacrifice and do whatever is required to meet mission goals and objectives? 

Meeting our nation's call is a commitment that requires discipline, sacrifice and perseverance. The stakes are high. We are the guardians of freedom and justice. The fight for freedom is a 24/7 endeavor and it requires dedication and responsibility.

Are you going the extra mile and striving for excellence in all that you do? At the end of the day do you close the door to your office with a great feeling of pride and accomplishment that you have done your very best? The effort that you put into your work is directly related to your level of commitment. 

There may come a time when we are asked to make the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our way of life. Are you ready to make that commitment? 

Meeting mission goals and objectives are dependent on dedicated Airmen willing to make that sacrifice to meet the challenge. Our success rests on your commitment.

Commitment to your staff, subordinates and coworkers -- The sum is only as good as the individual parts. Teamwork is a prerequisite for success. We all have a common vision and purpose and that is to support and defend our country against all enemies.

Commitment to people is largely the product of treating people with respect, challenging them and giving them effective feedback on how they are doing. Open channels of communication -- up, down and across the organization -- are key elements in commitment as they greatly affect the quality of cooperation within the organization. 

People are our most important product. We must dedicate ourselves to ensure that we mentor and educate our subordinates to preserve and enhance the future of our Air Force. 

Commitment to yourself -- Self-commitment and self-esteem are related. If you are committed to self-growth, you are guranteed healthy self-esteem. 

Personal growth and development are contributing factors to career and personal success. An effective Airman is one that possesses a strong sense of personal integrity and self-confidence. A deliberate emphasis on continual self-improvement is paramount. 

Commitment to a healthy life style enhances your ability to achieve and enjoy the success of your accomplishments. Health is a gift. Wellness is a choice. 

If you commit to your job, commit to your partner and commit to yourself, you can watch your whole life change in front of your eyes. 

Commitment to family -- The family is the nucleus of our existence. It requires nutrition, watering and the sun the same as your garden to make it grow. 

Reflect back on the sacrifices that your family endures each passing day in support of you and your career. This is a very special investment that you must take care of. 

There are two sides for you to consider in commitment to your family: dedication and devotion. Meeting and satisfying their emotional, spiritual, financial and physical needs while treating each member with dignity and respect are necessary. 

Wavering commitment is no commitment. Genuine commitment can stand the test of time and can predict the actions of individuals within the organization towards the mission. 

Jim Collins, author of the management book, "Good to Great," said, "The kind of commitment I find among the best performers across virtually every field is a single-minded passion for what they do -- an unwavering desire for excellence in the way they think and the way they work. Genuine confidence is what launches you out of bed in the morning, and through your day with a spring in your step." 

Where do you stand with your commitment?