“It's hard to understand inclusion until you have been excluded.” – Billie Jean King
One year ago, I launched the CSAF Leadership Library to encourage us to think critically about leadership and world events. I hope you have found these thought-provoking titles relevant to your professional and personal development and have engaged your fellow Airmen with your views and ideas.
This March, we celebrate Women's History Month to recognize the significant impacts women have on Air Force history as airpower leaders and innovators. Decades before the Women's Armed Services Integration Act was signed in 1948, American women were already making significant impacts in aviation. The Legend: The Bessie Coleman Story features Elizabeth "Bessie" Coleman, the first African-American woman and woman of Native-American descent to earn her pilot's license. "Queen Bess" refused to take "no" for an answer. Excluded from American flying schools because of her gender and race, she became nationally recognized for her daredevil flying stunts. Her achievements and contributions remain an inspiration and a symbol for our generation.
If you tuned in early to the Super Bowl for the flawless flyover to commemorate our Air Force's 75th anniversary, you might have also caught the pregame montage featuring tennis great Billie Jean King. Her message was simple yet powerful: "It's hard to understand inclusion until you have been excluded. Inclusify: The Power of Uniqueness and Belonging challenges us to think uncomfortably and with curiosity about the intersection of leadership, diversity, and inclusion in our Air Force. Simply being a diverse organization is not enough. We need inclusive leaders to foster a culture where all our Airmen feel welcome, heard, and understood
Diversity and inclusion are competitive advantages for our Air Force. An inclusive, competitive mindset enables us to better understand our investments, solve our problems, impose dilemmas on potential adversaries, and manage risk. Consider this mindset as you listen to Michael Morell's Intelligence Matters podcast: China's Ambitions in the World and What They Mean to U.S. as an expert panel dissects China's ambitions and strategy.
Providing feedback and receiving feedback by shifting the way we measure, incentivize, and reward the Airmen for the future will be important. Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well deep-dives into the phenomenon of feedback from the point of the view of the recipient and offers practical steps to ask for the right kind of feedback, identify triggers that prevent absorbing feedback, and even suggests ways to reject feedback.
I encourage you to use this month's additions to the Leadership Library to sharpen your leadership skills and those of your fellow Airmen.
CHARLES Q. BROWN, JR.
General, U.S. Air Force
Chief of Staff
Editor's note: The CSAF Leadership Library is a fluid set of media selected by Gen. Brown that evolves as novel ideas are published, recorded and debated. New entries will be added periodically throughout the year.