Fortifying leadership: 51st FW implements Lead, Develop, Care workshop

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Brittany Russell
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Nearly 100 enlisted, officer and civilian members assigned to the 51st Fighter Wing participated in a Lead, Develop, Care workshop at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 26 – 1 March, 2024.

LDC is a transformative leadership workshop that explores practical leadership, rather than leadership theory. It offers a framework for how to think like a leader through pragmatic decision-making techniques that guide leaders to optimal solutions.

“When I read ‘Lead, Develop, Care’ shortly before retirement, I wished somebody had introduced me to the model 30 years earlier,” said retired U.S Air Force Col. Patrick Donley, Air and Space Forces Association’s Doolittle Leadership Center director. “I knew this was the framework the military needed, so we adapted it to a military audience and began teaching the workshops at select bases.”

Donley shared the differences between the LDC framework and other well-known training models for development.

“We don’t focus on theory or ethics like most traditional leadership courses often do,” said Donley. “While these aspects can be helpful, the LDC approach focuses on exactly what you should be doing when you walk into the office tomorrow. We’re eliminating the ambiguity surrounding leadership.”

While traditional leadership courses provide students with new tools, LDC provides a lens for how to think about leadership; it gives students a leadership algorithm that helps them know which tools to use in which situations and why.

“Nearly 90% of this class said LDC was extremely helpful to them,” said Donley. “Regardless of your rank or what you already know about leadership, LDC is an incredible supplement to add to your arsenal and bring back to your unit.”

U.S. Air Force Capt. Brianna Green, 51st Fighter Wing commander’s action group director, believes this course is essential to building solidarity within your unit.

“The LDC course really shows you how to think outside the box,” said Green. “It would be beneficial for people of all ranks to attend this class and have common ground. We’re all so diverse and this framework really shows you how to dig deep and create authentic cohesion.”

Donley has taught LDC to approximately 700 Airmen and Guardians across multiple bases, states, and countries, and the workshop’s reach continues to grow across the Air and Space Force.

Through the LDC workshop, the 51st FW not only gained information for the pragmatic leadership framework, but also laid the foundation for enhanced unit cohesion, embodying the commitment to developing innovative leaders and investing in Osan today for tomorrow.