Developing resilient leaders

  • Published
  • By Col. Stephen Seaman
  • 301st Fighter Wing Director of Staff

Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, Chief of Air Force Reserve and Commander, Air Force Reserve Command,  recently outlined his vision, mission, and priorities for Reserve Citizen Airmen. One of which was to develop resilient leaders.

What does that mean? Develop resilient leaders…in my 33 and counting years in the Air Force, of which 20 have been with the reserve, I have observed numerous leaders. Some were resilient when thrown a curve, some were not. We’ve all seen the different types. A leader must be able to roll with the punches. In my experience, especially as the Director of Staff, you have no idea what will walk through the door—translation…life and the mission are full of variables and you must have the toolset/skillset to deal with those variables. I can tell you right now, when I don’t want to see someone walk through my door, it’s time to talk to someone, go run around the lake or to go home a little earlier…start caring for me. In my opinion, if the mission is there at 1900, it will also be there at 0700…build in time for YOU!  More importantly, build time for your airmen!

I’ve developed my resiliency over a very long career. In today’s operational reserve, there may not be enough time to develop the residency/coping skills to deal with whatever walks through the door. Don’t fret, the Air Force has provided resiliency tools to assist. The 301st leadership wants resilient airmen across the spectrum…both mind and body must be well tuned. If both are not in sync, it is readily apparent; surprisingly, probably not to the individual. Airmen and Family Readiness, our Mental Health providers, Chaplains, and First Sergeants have all the resources we need to take care of ourselves and our airmen.

A strong leader must strike a balance, whatever that means to you, a routine that includes physical fitness, a good diet and a healthy lifestyle. Once you are on your way to developing residency in yourself…share the knowledge, mentor those around you.  This reserve thing, is not getting easier and we’re all in it together. Each and every one of you is important to the mission…which at the end of the day is to fly, fight and win!


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