What Is Sucess?

  • Published
  • By By Chief Master Sgt. Lorene Kitzmiller
  • 144th Fighter Wing
/səkˈses/ noun
1.      The accomplishment of an aim or purpose
2.      The good or bad outcome of an undertaking

Success for an Individual 

What does success look like for you as an individual?  For an Airman, I believe success is a personal story and probably can’t be described in one sentence.  It may or may not necessarily be tied to the salary you receive from your job.  Are you striving to own a business, finishing training or education, or raising a family?  When you put on the cloth of our nation-- OCP’s, flight suit, blues or PT gear-- does that definition of success change?  I would hope that it includes our core values: Integrity first, service before self (but not at the expense of your health and wellness) and excellence in all we do. When you self-reflect about your day, what makes it a successful day?  I learn something new all the time with room for improvements.  Don’t underestimate the role you play in shaping other’s success.  Your actions and non-actions are important every single day.

Success for Squadrons and Groups

Is it only mission accomplishment, or is it also something else?  I would argue the mission is an easy one to define. The records speak for themselves through sortie generations and support actions across the groups.  Since it’s the people that make the mission happen, is the organization striving to take care of all its Airmen? Is the organization recognizing hard work, mentoring and educating Airmen, maintaining standards, and supporting Airmen when they are struggling through obstacles in their lives?  During this past year, I’ve witnessed huge acts of kindness & generosity, innovation & teamwork, and decades of experience brought to conversations. These are amazing resiliency sources that foster friendships and social connections.  When everyone is truly valued, is respected and has a vested interest in common goals, it leads to productive outcomes for the whole organization. 

Success for the Wing

What do the Groups find important as a whole for Wing Success?  I wouldn’t define our goal as only “buy in.” When we know that something is needed, but its difficulty defining it, I believe that only commitment and conviction are required.  Commitment is our willingness to do the work that is needed. When I assess our commitment within the organization, I ask myself a series of questions:  Are we committed to our common goals?  Are our Airmen committed?  Are we all willing to do the work that is needed?  When the work isn’t done, how do we hold each other accountable?  Conviction is our belief and what we find meaningful.  When I asses our conviction, I ask these questions:  Are our beliefs still the same?  Should we keep those beliefs or replace them to make new ones? Do we find our work valuable and meaningful?  Whenever these answers our out of alignment, it’s important for all of us to redefine what work is important and our roles within the organization.  Our Air Force is emerging every day. Our profession of arms mandates forward movement, so continue the hard work, and don’t be left behind. I believe that getting back to basics and foundations will allow the Wing to reach excellence!