Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

April 21, 2017 at 7:25am

Local business executive speaks at McChord's Lunch and Learn

Devin Craig, Jimmy John’s director of operations and 4th Airlift Squadron honorary commander, talks about leadership traits admired by others during McChord Lunch and Learn April 7 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Senior Airman Jacob Jimenez

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This month, McChord's Lunch and Learn session featured a local business leader as the guest speaker. Devin Craig, Jimmy John's director of operations and 4th Airlift Squadron honorary commander, provided in-depth leadership advice from an experienced business viewpoint April 7 at the McChord Chapel Support Center.

The title of this month's event was called, "What Exactly is Leadership?" and focused on breaking down the different traits that make a good leader.

"There are a lot of different definitions of leadership," said Craig. "Basically, if you have followers you have to take care of others. Every definition of leadership relates to others and purpose."  

Because each airman has served under different leaders, Craig asked airmen to tell him leadership traits they liked or disliked in previous leaders.

"When we see good leadership we know it," said Craig. "When we see bad leadership we also know it. We know the power of leadership, but kind of like love, it's hard to define."

To help show the importance of leadership in different organizational positions, Craig explained the effects poor or good leadership could have on an organization and employees at every level.

"All of us that are put in a position of organizational authority, leadership is expected of us," said Craig. "What people don't realize is that when put in a position of managerial authority, the influence they have on others."

The number one reason why people are disengaged in their jobs is because of poor leadership from management, said Craig.  

"When I first got to my current position I noticed there was a lot of technical competence but a lack of morale," said Craig. "I attributed this to poor leadership and sought to make managers better leaders."

Most organizations focus on technical competence and not the most valuable leadership traits, said Craig.

Craig noted the Eight Most Important Qualities of Leadership identified by Google.

These qualities are as follows in line of importance:

1. Providing good coaching  

2. Empowerment of others without micromanaging

3. Having empathy for others

4. Being results-driven  

5. Being a good communicator

6. Developing people

7. Being a visionary and strategist

8. Having technical competence

"I want to encourage you, if you're in a position of organizational authority, you have the opportunity to lead people and these are the skills that will help you do that," said Craig. "Develop these skills and invest in yourself. You owe it to yourself and the people you lead to become the best leader possible."

For more information about future Lunch and Learn events, call the 62nd Airlift Wing commander's action group at 253.982.7832.

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