Take Time to Care

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Christina Hernandez
  • 39th Logistics Readiness Squadron
"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care" ~ Theodore Roosevelt

I am lucky enough to have the best job in the Air Force as a First Sergeant.  When I'm serving my squadron and commander I try to live by the words of our 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt.  He said, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."  His statement does not diminish the value of having basic knowledge in our career fields.  Instead, it means if you show you care and are willing to help, people will be more open to take direction and follow you.

Today's Air Force is considerably smaller than it was when I joined almost twenty-one years ago.  The force was 396,000 strong then, now there are 307,000 Air Force members.   We have the same mission, and in some cases, a more expanded one.  Where we had three people to do one job in the past, we now have one person to do three jobs.  A bigger mission with fewer people leads to far more stressors.

As leaders and supervisors, your job should be taking care of your subordinates.  Most of the time simply taking the time to sit down and listen to someone's issues or letting them vent their frustrations will help alleviate many of their problems.  In other cases, taking the opportunity to reach out to one of the multiple helping agencies on base might help them.  Then, not only have you helped them, but you've also taught them how to be a better supervisor and leader for their subordinates.

The "Lik" poses interesting stressors other bases do not have.  Between the Voluntary Authorized Departure, increased force protection measures and the demands of being a part of an active military operation, people need to know you care.  They need to know you are willing to take a moment out of your busy schedule to hear about what's going on in their lives. I am not only talking about the bad stuff, but the good things too.  If you take a few minutes to show that you care about a person, they will be more apt to work harder for you and, in turn, take care of their subordinates and peers.  Theodore Roosevelt said many great things throughout his life, but none truer in today's smaller Air Force with its bigger mission than "People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care."