Four Cs of leadership guide Airmen’s careers

Col. Bradley Denison
469th Air Base Group

***image1***Lt. Gen. Kenneth Wykle, retired U.S. Army, passed the 4 Cs of leadership to me when I worked for him at the U.S. Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. They have helped me to command a squadron and now as I command a group.
Commitment – dedication to our profession and proudly serving our great nation. Patriotism and esprit-de-corps are elements of commitment. So too, is persistence in solving problems and resolving issues.
Do you have commitment to ensure your immunizations are up-to-date, your will is in order, you’re physiclly fit or that you’ve adequately prepared to test for the next stripe? A positive, supportive and helpful attitude in dealing with others also signifies commitment.
Competence — you must strive to be technically and tactically competent in all that you do. Competent leaders are confident leaders.
Set and enforce tough but realistic standards for yourself, standards that cause you to stretch. Competence means adhering to proper military customs, courtesies and appearance. It also means being at the required place at the required time, with the correct operationally ready equipment, ready to perform the task.
Candor — being honest, truthful and forthright in what you say and do. You have an ethical responsibility to demonstrate integrity to your organization and people. Do not compromise your integrity for anything or anyone.
Once your integrity is compromised you can never get it back.
By teaching and mentoring, you must help others who rely on and look up to you to understand the nature of ethical considerations in their work and social activities.
Courage — going beyond physical courage in the face of danger. You must develop the moral courage to state your convictions and to do what is right. Stand up and be counted.
When you are in charge, there is no one to lean on; you must decide. As a leader, you must accept responsibility for your actions. Have the courage to admit your mistakes, learn from them and move on.
What I hope to have you takeaway from the 4-Cs is the importance of using them to guide your career and life.
Commitment, competence, candor and courage — four simple words that if applied correctly will lead and guide you to success.