Worry About Your (Current) Job

I had a group commander who published his leadership philosophy shortly after taking command. I appreciate it when leaders take the time to communicate what’s going on in their heads. His philosophy was par for the course in some areas but it did yield some good insights. There was one line that stood out above the rest.

“You worry about your current job and I’ll worry about your next job.”

This is something that took me a long time to figure out as an Air Force CGO and something I’m still working on. A lot of the advice I received at the beginning of my officer career was to always keep an eye on the future. I should have a list of SMART goals I’m working on and a career path laid out in my head and be ready to articulate it when asked; usually as part of the assignment process.

While it’s good to think about the future it shouldn’t be your primary focus. You will likely be in your current job for a year (at most) so that’s not a lot of time to learn AND lead effectively. Your commander is arguably your best advocate when it comes to the assignment process. Let them sell you. You can make this easier by doing a good job. Focusing on the near term will help you get good at your job.

This is what I think my group commander was trying to say in his leadership philosophy.

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