'You must love those you lead before you can be an effective leader, You can certainly command without that sense of commitment, but you cannot lead without it. And without leadership, command is a hollow experience, a vacuum often filled with mistrust and arrogance.'
General Eric Shinseki - Ex-US Army Chief of Staff
The Air Commodore saw the Flight Lieutenant waiting at the Orderly Room counter.
'How are you finding the job so far, Bernard?' He remembered my name. He was the Air Officer Commanding Training Command with hundreds on his immediate staff and thousands more at the units under his Command scattered around Australia and overseas. He remembered me after being introduced a month earlier when I began my first real Air Force posting.
'Busy?' he asked. I gave the only answer that I could to my boss's, boss's boss. 'Well, you need to find a couple of days to spare,' he said. 'How would you like to come with me on a Staff Visit to RAAF Base Wagga?'
The next day I accompanied the Air Commodore and his senior staff to all his meetings with the various commanding officers of units at RAAF Wagga. 'I think it's important that all junior officers get to see what we do first hand,' he told me in his car on the way there. 'You need to get out of Headquarters as much as you can to see what our people do.'
I watched how a One Star commander listened, spoke, deliberated, questioned, joked, sat, responded, decided, commanded. No other boss ever gave me an opportunity like that, let alone a boss's, boss's boss. The second most senior commander in the Air Force.
No other boss saw me.
On the drive back to Melbourne he asked me 'What did you think?'
A good boss sees.
She sees you and stops to help you [to become who you are].
She sees because she is looking.
She is looking because she is confident that she doesn't know and that you may.
She hands you her map and says 'Take us there'.