CASE 1: Leadership Case
Just 3 months out of training you were assigned to the Logistics Readiness Squadron in Dras, Ladakh. After in-processing with the unit, you sit down with your squadron commander, Major Kapoor, and relay your lack of experience and uncertainty about the job. “Sir, I was open to anything the Air Force handed me,” you said to the commander, “but logistics in Ladakh wasn’t even close to being on my dream sheet. How am I going to lead if I don’t even have the skills to
tell people how and what to do?” The commander replied, “As an officer you should be ready to lead anywhere and anytime you are put into a position, no matter what training you’ve had. Don’t worry about it though--you’re going to be the assistant flight commander for Bravo Flight under the eyes of Captain Varun, the Bravo Flight Commander.”
After 7 months on the job, Captain Varun tells you he is leaving in 2 weeks for Columbus AFB MS for Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) and will be handing the Bravo Flight reigns over to you permanently. You shudder at the thought but quickly remember what your commander had said about officers leading anytime and anywhere.
You take the job head-on, using the same techniques Capt Vogel applied to lead the flight. For some reason, the 15 personnel under your supervision randomly disregard your orders and quickly fall behind on the vehicle maintenance schedule. The commander calls you into his office one day to discuss the decline in flight morale and unit effectiveness.
You begin to think about the situation and the variables at hand and say, “I’m a second lieutenant with some job knowledge, I’ve already sat down with the members of Bravo Flight and told them
what I expect from them--just to let them know who’s boss. I take care of tasks they should be doing to show I care about them, I give each member as much ‘down time’ as needed; I don’t nag them about accomplishing their jobs because that would be considered micromanagement, and I even give them leeway with mistakes by not reprimanding or correcting them. I thought they would like me for being down to earth and joking around with them. What the heck am I doing wrong?”
Given this scenario, what have you been doing wrong as a leader? If you were the commander of this organization, what would you do with the Lt?