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To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift

Official photo for Chief Master. Sgt. Michael S. Senigo, 301 FW Command Chief

Official photo for Chief Master. Sgt. Michael S. Senigo, 301 FW Command Chief

Hello 301 FW Warriors,

I wanted to take some time to send something your way that I find very important to share with you. It is truly my honor to serve as the command chief for this wing! I look forward to learning more about you and I wanted to share some things about me to help you get to know my leadership style, background and hopefully a little bit of my personality.

 

1. Know yourself and be comfortable. -- For me it’s all about faith, family and service.
2. I’m not a perfect person, I’ll make mistakes, but I’ll do my best to minimize them.
3. If you take care of the people, the people will take care of the mission.
4. Balance is key. We have Family/Personal – Military -- Civilian. It gets tricky at times but you need to prioritize and find balance.
5. Service is sacrifice. You need to know how much you’re willing to sacrifice, it may slide left or right, but never let it break you.
6. Messaging matters. What, when, how and who you say it to mean a lot.
7. Don’t compromise yourself. The world is watching, especially your Airmen.
8. “Strong people don’t put others down…they lift them up.” Michael P. Watson
9. Recognition is more important to most people than they’ll humbly let on.
10. Don’t be lazy. Do what needs to get done and do it well.
11. Life will throw you curveballs, be prepared to hit more than one type of pitch.
12. What’s easy isn’t always what’s right or best.
13. People are always “busy”--make time for the important things.
14. If you want to fly with the eagles, don’t hang with the turkeys. (I’m an Eagles fan)
15.  Utilize the “Yeah, but…” Rule. If you think you’re right, say “yeah, but…” If that doesn’t work, use a second “yeah, but…” bring new info or a different approach.
  

 “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” – Steve Prefontaine

 

These things I've tried to demonstrate as a person and a leader. But I've also noticed the other side, since we are talking about real life. Too many leaders appear to be “perfect” and that can build a barrier between them and their Airmen. Some Airmen think what they’re going through…they’re the first ones…that no one will understand…that we as leaders have always had the “easy road.” My concern when people see my biography is how it will appear shiny and bright, but people won’t see the ugly parts of my life and career. Having been through several things in my life (some of which you will discover below) has helped shape my beliefs on leadership:

 

To set the tone of my imperfections and stumbles along the way to where I am today, I am sharing some personal ugly parts of my journey. My hope is these words reach readers in a way that lets you know if you or any other leader in the wing brings me an issue, it will be handled with compassion and empathy because I've been there. Here are the “ugly parts":

 

- I was married and divorced before I turned 21. Note: It helps to discuss PCS assignments with your new spouse before volunteering to move across the country.
- I was in a Class A mishap in Iraq in 2008. Note: Hitting power lines with a HH-60 Pave Hawk over the Tigris River in Iraq is not fun.
- My second divorce (after four years of marriage) happened shortly after the previous incident. No I’m not proud of this track record, but it is part of me.
- Slight change of pace, I was married in 2010 (and still am) and we have seven wonderful kids.

 

That’s probably more than enough for now. Just know, I’m a human who is far from perfect. I’m here to help and give my best to this wing. If you ever want to chat, I’m all ears.


P.S. Aren’t you glad the honesty wasn’t like Chunk’s confession to the Fratellis in The Goonies movie?