Harrison is learning about communities at his preschool, and next week he is supposed to give a presentation about three different kinds of places in his community. When we talked about people who serve the community, I listed the various places we could visit: the police department, city hall, the fire station, etc. To my great pleasure, Harrison asked, “Dad, can we go see the soldiers?”
Though I am very grateful for the many kinds of people who serve our community, I am especially grateful for those in our armed forces. Fortunately for us, we live very close to Luke Air Force Base, the #1 training base in the world for F-16 Viper pilots. We also are fortunate to know one of the pilot trainers for the 62nd Fighter Squadron, callsign “Hypr” (stinkin’ cool, right?).
I spoke with Hypr last week about the possibility of us coming to the base and snapping a few photos of Harrison with one of the airmen. Imagine my excitement when Hypr told me that he could not only get us on base, but that he would also let us out on the tarmac and give us an up-close tour of some F-16s.
I thought to myself, “This is going to be the coolest Community Report that Greatleaps Preschool has ever seen!”
The tour was an absolute blast. We got to climb the ladder and look into the F-16 cockpit, and we stood at the end of the runway as several Vipers were taking off with their full afterburners rattling our ribcages. Hypr then took us into the equipment room to show us his anti-G suit, his helmet and air mask, and some pretty sweet night vision goggles. He did a great job making it fun for Harrison and for me as well.
One of the things that struck me was the way Hypr always made it a point to tell us the importance of everyone we came across on base, from the mechanics to the guys who arm the ordinance to the men who service his flight equipment. He undoubtedly outranked every airman we came across, but he never missed an opportunity to tell me specifically how each was important to making him a successful pilot — and he did it so that they could hear.
Though I was admittedly impressed that the guy I was hanging out with flys around in a $15 million aircraft at Mach 1.5 all day, I was even more impressed with the way he viewed and treated his subordinates. Whether you are a fighter pilot, business leader, teacher, work-from-home parent, or anything in between, each of us can learn a valuable lesson in showing that we value those around us.
Who in your life deserves some credit for contributing to your success? Is there someone at your workplace who plays an important behind-the-scenes role that makes it possible for you to do what you do? What mundane activity does your husband/wife do each day that deserves your recognition? True leaders are not afraid to acknowledge that they are where they are in large part because of the people who support them.
Find a way this week to tell someone how their work is essential in making you successful. If possible, do it in front of others.