The inspirational graduation festivities spanned two days and conjured up strong feelings of pride and patriotism. The formal graduation ceremony was highlighted by the remarks of a retired Brigadier General who traveled this same path several decades earlier and whose son was graduating along with mine. He described this distinguished group of young leaders as Humble, Approachable and Credible.
You might not think of young pilots as “Humble” by nature, but that is exactly how they came across as a graduating class. None of them were focused on being the center of attention; instead, as a group they are 26 Strong, confident officers.
To say they are “Approachable” would be an understatement; this group is full of energy and enthusiasm. They clearly feed off one another and welcome lively interaction with family and friends. Their bonds are 26 Strong.
“Credible” is the key word that emanates from this group of 26 Strong, trained professionals who are ready to serve. The aircraft they will pilot span bases across the Air Force; you can sense the confidence that they will carry with them into their new missions as they join the active pilots who have come before them.
This personal glimpse into the attributes of these young officers and pilots translates well to leadership in virtually any values-based, goal-oriented organization. To be Humble, Approachable and Credible is to foster a culture of continuous improvement and achievement. As the saying goes: None of us is as smart as all of us. We can learn so much more from each other when we are humble and approachable, and we become more credible in the process.