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Year of Motivation

Photo of Command Chief Master Sgt. Kahn Scalise

Command Chief Master Sgt. Kahn Scalise, 302nd Airlift Wing

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

Hello Leaders of the 302d AW!

To all the Airmen and Civilians in the 302nd Airlift Wing, I want to talk to you about motivation. This is not going to be about discussing motivational theories, such as Maslow’s Hierarchy five basic needs, or Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory. My intent is to focus on you and to encourage self-reflection on what motivates you this year. I am calling 2020 a Year of Motivation.

This is not one of my ideas, but an idea from one of our Airman right here in the 302 AW. The Airman mentioned to me their thought on a theme this year and stated “Year of Motivation,” which got me thinking about this for a couple days and I really liked the bold statement for our wing.

First thing with motivation is, I don’t motivate you. Motivation comes from within you. What I can do within my control is be responsible for creating a motivational climate here at the 302d AW. But I can’t do it alone. I need leaders from every unit to build a motivational climate for your team. You create the climate whether you intend to or not. It’s a matter of choosing and creating the climate you establish to be motivating or demotivating.

What is a motivational climate? I think it is open, honest and two-way communication. Empowerment is another factor in motivation. Let people in your unit know that their ideas and questions are welcomed as an avenue to collaboration and innovation. Tell people they are doing meaningful work and, whatever their job is, let them know that they contribute to accomplishing the mission. Remember to communicate the Big Picture. Lastly, a work climate is motivational when we allow people to fail, knowing that if they are being innovative and trying new things, sometimes it does not work. That does not mean that they should be in trouble or not be allowed to try again. Failing at something is learning and they should have the motivation to try again.

So what motivates me? My drive is to live and give one-hundred percent in everything I do. What I do is be the best husband, father, Wingman, mentor, professional and Citizen Airman that I can be. I am not perfect at any of these things I mention. I sometimes stumble and fail, but I always learn from it, get back up, and give it my all, because my family and my fellow Airmen deserve my very best.

My other motivational goal this year is with you - What are your goals for this year? What drives you? What makes you enthusiastically pursue and accomplish these goals? Each of you have goals this year that will motivate you to take action or not. There will never be a perfect time to try something new and there will always be reasons why this is the wrong time. Stop making excuses and waiting for the conditions to be perfect. Get started!

Share your goals with your leaders and mentors this year. Maybe they are both personal and career goals that motivate you to take action. One piece of advice, if this is a large goal that will take a lot of time and energy, it will require your motivation to be high. Look at breaking down the goal into smaller, logical, more manageable steps.

We all have that fire and focus within ourselves to motivate to take action. Reflect on where you are at with your life – physical, mental, career, and family. Thank you for your service, dedication, leadership, and serving as a Citizen Airmen in the United States Air Force Reserve!