• Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Call
  • ESC command chief
Ever wonder how a chief master sergeant, commander or even a CEO rose to the top? Most will say it's not from sheer luck, although a little luck every now and then sure helps. Each of these individuals will attest that there was someone, or in most cases, multiple people, that helped guide or mentor them down the path to success.

A mentor is defined as a trusted counselor or guide; a relationship in which a person with greater experience and wisdom guides another person to develop both personally and professionally. Mentoring is about developing competent, well-rounded future leaders.

Mentoring is about helping Airmen reach their maximum potential, preparing them to take on increased responsibilities and effectively performing at the next level of leadership.

Generally, every Airman's immediate supervisor is their primary mentor. Mentoring is an inherent responsibility of leadership. The Air Force directs leadership to take an active role in the professional development of subordinates. However, Airmen shouldn't limit themselves to just one mentor. Airmen should seek out mentors, someone they look up to and someone that motivates them to further develop both personally and professionally.

All Airmen should also strive to be a mentor. Share your experiences or impart your wisdom. Your guidance and direction will help Airmen become more knowledgeable, better prepared and more successful than they would have been on their own.

Winston Churchill once said, "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give."

The satisfaction of knowing that you made a difference in someone's personal life or Air Force career is priceless.

My challenge to all Airmen is to make a difference in someone's life. Take someone under your wing. Mentor an airman, NCO or company grade officer on how to be more successful in their Air Force careers. Just a few minutes of your time can have a huge impact on their career or better prepare them for life's challenges.

How do you get more information on becoming an effective mentor? AFI 36-3401, Air Force Mentoring, is a great tool that outlines the mentorship program. It describes in detail how to effectively mentor and outlines the many tools and references to assist in the mentorship process.

The Air Force fielded My Development Plan is one of the newest tools to track career and education progression. Additionally, Airmen can use this tool to request mentors and even share their personnel records to obtain feedback. I highly encourage every Airman to seek out the great tools that My-DP provides. The My-DP link is found on the left navigation on the Air Force Portal's home page.