Core values are at the heart and soul of the military profession: integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do. (The Airman Handbook, page 238, 9.31.1) Personal values are things that we have encountered throughout the course of our lives. Over time they can change or be influenced by our life’s experiences. Personal values impact both our personal and professional lives. The five personal values that are most important to me are teamwork, encouragement, growth, learning, and creativity. I believe teamwork is an essential component of my civilian and military career. Team collaboration allows me to help solve difficult problems that may arise and gives me the opportunity to share my experience on a topic or provide training to those individuals that may need it.
Sometimes it is easy to feel discouraged, frustrated, or alone. Encouragement gives me a sense of peace and helps me to see a situation from a different perspective. Also, it builds my self-confidence in areas where I might need some uplifting. Receiving encouragement in the workplace makes my job more enjoyable and changes my attitude about what I do on a day-to-day basis.
As I progress in my career, one of the things that I must be willing to do is move outside of my comfort zone. Growth widens a pathway that may have to seem narrow. It can lead to better career opportunities and healthier relationships. In order to grow, you must be willing to identify and acknowledge your strengths and shortcomings. Sometimes when a problem or situation arises, this can trigger something in me that makes me evaluate my life and the people in it. I feel growth is an ongoing process that changes over time.
One reason why I value learning is that it helps build my confidence and gives me a sense of self-efficacy. Learning has a positive impact, which helps me make better choices and improves my work and life experiences. Additionally, learning helps me to discover things I didn’t know about myself or someone else. I believe we live in a learning culture where we can view things from another person’s perspective and take what we learn and build on this. Learning fuels my creativity and triggers new ideas. In a world where your creativity separates you from the next person in the workplace being creative pushes me to transform my mindset and take it to a different level. Creativity brings my ideas and my colleagues’ way of thinking to live. It can open a new door of opportunity. Being creative encourages me to take risks and find an interesting solution to a problem. I feel that creativity in the workplace is important because no two minds always think alike.
At the beginning of my paper, I listed the Air Force’s core values of integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do. In contrast, all of these are considered high standards that the Air Force would like for each of their airmen to conduct in their own personal and professional lives. Integrity means to be honest through your actions, service before self is a commitment to help others, while excellence in all we do resolves around handling a task and doing it to the best of your ability. The Air Force’s core values are put into place to provide a moral compass to its service members by helping to guide each individual.
One way that I plan to align the Air Force’s core value of excellence in all we do to my personal value of teamwork is by placing a group of individual performers together and creating a cohesive team. As a leader, it is my job to understand each person’s function and how it applies to the Air Force’s mission. Using my creativity and knowledge to form a dynamic team will allow all of us to accomplish group tasks together. My second personal value that I can align with excellence is learning. Training is not only fundamental in focusing on the organization’s strategic vision but also helps develop the capabilities of the Airmen who make the vision a reality (The Airman Handbook, page 248, 10.10.1). Learning a new skill can help my unit do things quicker and easier; thus, saving time and energy. Continuous learning allows me to see improvement within my career in hopes to be excellent in something that I truly enjoy.
In conclusion, I can say that my personal values are elements in my life that have shaped who I am today. Therefore, I will always value teamwork, encouragement, growth, learning, and creativity. It is through these values that I have learned the most about myself and from people that are different from me.