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Simple truths with words

Lt. Col. Jon K. Rucker, 9th Force Support Squadron commander

Lt. Col. Jon K. Rucker, 9th Force Support Squadron commander

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, California -- As commanders, we spend a great deal of time talking and in most cases, carefully choosing the words used.  However, we find that sometimes, it is the simple message that needs to be delivered when it matter most.  As a result, there are a few choice words...in fact 23 words to deliver a few simple truths.  While they may not be all inclusive, using these simple truths will empower your organization to improve, become more efficient, have a voice that wants to offer different viewpoints and most importantly, show the entire team is involved in mission accomplishment.

My Simple Truths:

1)  The six most important words in the English language:  I admit that I was wrong.  We are human and humans make mistakes...even our leaders.  Leaders own our failures and share successes with the organization.

2)  The five most important words:  You did a great job.  Airmen should know when they do well...it doesn't matter how big or small the accomplishment is...it matters that we recognize them for their efforts.

3)  The four most important words:  What do you think?  Asking personnel about their thoughts empower employees to make a difference...it gives them a voice and makes them a part of the decision-making process.

4)  The three most important words:  Would you please?  Common courtesies in our conversation are a must.  It makes requests more sincere and puts a positive tone on the easiest or hardest of tasks.

5)  The two most important words:  Thank You.  A Thank you conveys appreciation for what someone has done for the organization...we need to use it more often.

6)  The most important word:  We.  Leaders cannot get anything accomplished without a "We".  The "We" in an organization makes the mission happen and it is our most precious resource.

7)  The least important words:  I or Me.  We accomplish nothing without team effort.  I alone can do nothing without an organization full of Airmen willing to work together to accomplish our mission.

So there you have it...my simple truths.  Leaders and subordinates are encouraged to embrace these truths, use them every day and notice the difference it can make to your organization.