With proper guidance, anyone can be a leader.
Chief Master Sgt. Greg Rousey, 5th Communications Squadron chief enlisted manager, said he and his team have established a formal way of of instilling leadership fundamentals in their Airman.
“The Team Leader Program is a one day course designed to instill and enforce leadership skills among Airmen who are already taking leadership roles in their units,” said Rousey.
Rousey’s team developed the Team Leader Program to enhance Airmen’s supervisory capabilities.
“We know for a fact Airmen lead other Airmen, but they don’t supervise,” said Rousey. “The Team Leader Program will bridge that gap.”
The program will teach Airmen how to step into the leadership role and assume the responsibilities of a non-commissioned officer.
“The Airmen get selected a week before the course starts,” said Rousey. “They are given a topic to present and teach a course on said topic. They have a minimum of 20 minutes each, and the only rule is no ‘death by Powerpoint.’”
The Airmen taking part in the program will also be participating in team building exercises.
“The entire day is made up of six Airmen teaching their topics to their peers, with team building exercises wedged between each lesson,” said Rousey.
While the program is specifically for Journeyman-level airmen, it has been expanded to all Airmen taking on increased responsibilities.
“We really loved the program,” said Airman 1st Class Bradley Ray Troxel, a 5th CS cyber systems operations technician.
“For me, it was strange being put out of the follower position and into the leadership position,” said Troxel. “[Along with] learning the skills to listen to everyone’s input and rely on other people’s skills rather than your own.”
Troxel said he never had the opportunity to build that skill until they challenged him to create a topic and to present it.
“It was really rewarding for me,” he said. “Ever since then, I’ve been trying to take the same mentality of presenting ideas to people and not just droning away while stating facts.”
Troxel said he liked learning more about his squadron and how they contribute to the mission.
Senior Airman Ian Irons, a 5th CS client systems technician, said it made them think outside the box.
“We were presented with challenges that we don’t deal with in our day-to-day job,” Irons said. “It takes you out of your comfort zone and requires you to take input from everyone involved and to reach a solution everyone is good with.”
Irons said the speech he had to give was stressful for him since he’s not comfortable with public speaking.
“As far as the overall course, it was pretty comfortable even if you don't know anyone there,” he said. “It’s an informal environment which I think contributes to everyone doing well since it’s a little more relaxed.”
Once the Airmen pass the program, they leave with both a sturdy foundation to develop their leadership skills upon and a new duty title.
“An Airman Team Leader is someone who provides guidance, instruction and leadership to a group of individuals to achieve mission success,” said Rousey. “[The Airmen] work within a team as a member but they also carry out the same roles as a NCO. Back when I was an Airman, we had Airmen leading other Airman. We didn’t have that formal training until now. We’re putting a stamp on it.”