The concept of transformational leadership relies on appropriate leadership approaches for mission success. AFDD 1-1 describes three leadership competencies: person, people/team, organization Effective leaders (tactical level) need to build face-to-face and interpersonal relationships that directly influence behavior and values. Effective leaders (operational level) need to build team dynamics for small groups and squadrons. Effective leaders (strategic level) need to build strategy and provide direction in a broad spectrum.
Leadership at the tactical level is built on personal interaction. This type of leadership is face to face and encourages adherence to policy and procedures. This leadership also takes into account the human element of command. In the LW course, we studied numerous leaders that exhibited this type of leadership style. Robin Olds was a leader that transformed the squadron they led. Three keys to their leadership were mission success, people focus, and espirt de corps.
The Fighter Pilot learned first by learning and understanding the mission. Robin Olds took the time to gather data about the mission. He would listen to pilots. In fact, when he arrived he would fly in the wing position to learn. He needs to understand the mission, threats, and dangers of the tasking orders. Olds leadership of learning was important to his developing trust with his men. They saw a leader was not self-absorbed. His transformational leadership style was learning through collaboration.
The Fighter Pilot leadership included attention to moral. Transformational leaders are able to enhance the moral of the team. Robin Olds intense charisma was contagious in the unit. Olds told the pilots when he arrived he was not the best pilot for the mission now, but soon I will be the best. The challenge to the pilots energized them but it also fueled Olds.
The Fighter Pilot leadership looked for ways to improve conditions on the base. Olds walked with lower ranking airmen to find things that were broken. His leadership style encouraged improvement. He wanted the airmen culture to be better. Olds believed improve living conditions would help improve moral. He was willing to use resources to affect the quality of life for his airmen. This willingness to improve quality of life enhanced his stature as a transformational leader.
The Fighter Pilot leadership focused on team first. Olds was the father figure. His men knew he cared. His leadership was showing them you can and they will follow you. Olds led his team by protecting them. He trusted their decision in combat and provided top cover if leadership ever questioned their decisions. Olds was not a leader to through a pilot under the bus. In fact, Olds would place the focus on himself if there were an error in combat. Yet, he would give praise to pilots for successful missions. In addition, Olds cared for the team when there was a tragedy in combat. He understood the mission had to continue, but he also understood...