The value of your ABC's

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Daryl Grant
  • 39th Operations Squadron superintendent
I'm sure everyone has examples of who they believe are outstanding leaders. For me, it was simple, my grandfather, Reverend Thomas Grant, Sr. He was a preacher at the church in our neighborhood and was affectionately known throughout our community as "Rev." If he were here today, he would not consider himself a leader and would only think he did the things he thought everyone should do.

My grandfather was a simple man who had a simple approach to life and every situation; "Always do the right thing and always do your best." His advice to the children in the neighborhood was even simpler: "Remember your ABCs."

The ABCs according to Rev are attitude, behavior, and character. He always said your attitude affects your behavior, and your behavior defines your character. He would also say that every situation you encounter is deeply impacted by these three things. Attitude is a position of the body or manner of carrying oneself -- your disposition. My Grandfather would tell us the best time to check your attitude is when you get up in the morning. "Put a smile on your face, keep your shoulders up and look at every situation as an opportunity versus a problem."

Behavior is a person's actions or reactions under specified circumstances. Rev would tell us that regardless of how bad a situation was, how you handle it tells your story. If you choose to react negatively to a bad situation, that stigma has a way of sticking with you. Conversely, responding positively to a situation displays leadership, objectivity and forward thinking.

Finally, character is the combination of qualities or features that distinguishes one person, group or thing from another. It is also the public estimation of someone -- your reputation. Your reputation, according to Rev, is everything. If your reputation is questionable, any decision you make in a leadership capacity will be viewed with suspicion. However, when people know you can be trusted and counted on to do the right thing, they will follow you without hesitation.

Regardless of your leadership style, your ABCs, along with hard work, should be a part of the foundation. Your attitude has an enormous affect on any situation, and it enables you with the ability to dictate the outcome. Remember, "Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier." It also shapes the behavior you choose when reacting to a situation.

Negative behavior is counter-productive and has no place in our business. Positive behavior, on the other hand, allows you to view each situation objectively, seize the opportunity and make the best of it. Furthermore, your behavior speaks volumes about your character. Your character directly relates to your reputation. A spotty reputation places your ability to lead in jeopardy, while a solid one garners the respect and admiration from superiors, peers and subordinates. So the next time you are faced with a challenging situation or difficult decision, think about what Rev would say, and "Remember your ABCs".