“A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.” In this episode, I draw my comparisons to being an effective coach in the gym to being an effective leader in the workplace. I am grateful to currently serve in both of these capacities, so I try to use the same tools and techniques in both roles to improve the performance of those I am fortunate enough to lead.
“E Aloha Kekahi I Kekahi (love one another).” In this episode, I share how my childhood in Hawai’i shaped my style of leadership and how I try to conduct myself professionally and personally. Let’s close out this year’s Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month strong…IMUA! #AAPIHM
“It’s only a ton of email if you read them all.” In this episode, I share my strategy for how I return from leave with maximum efficiency. I’ve fine-tuned this approach to maximize my time and maximize the time of others so we can get back to work and #JustDoBetter.
“I think I can…I think I can…I know I can.” In this episode, I share some highlights from the recently updated “Air Force little blue and brown books.” These foundational publications are a must-read for every Airman, as they provide us insight into how we must hold ourselves and each other accountable to defined principles within the Profession of Arms.
“I don’t care about organization charts, I care about the unity of effort.” In this episode, I cover some of the top quotes I heard while attending the 2022 AFCEA Tidewater Integrated Combat Symposium in Hampton, Virginia. I had a great time hearing from great leaders on what the Air Force needs from the cyberspace operations and information warfare community, and I’m excited for my next chapter in Air Combat Command.
“The coach discovers his or her humanness and humanity while being a clearing for others to do so.” In this episode, I share some of the 360-degree feedback I asked for from the athletes I am fortunate to coach. Seeking improvement is a hallmark of a great coach, and sometimes the best feedback comes from the ones that depend on you.
“It’s like a finger pointing to the moon. Don’t focus your eyes on the finger or you will all of the heavenly glory.” In this episode, I share my thoughts on mentally labeling yourself as a leader and following through with actions that match that label. By creating a mental image of who you want to be, it will become easier for that image to manifest itself in reality.
“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” In this episode, I share my thoughts on how a good mentor hopes you move on, but a great mentor knows you will. If you are fortunate enough to serve in a mentorship position, listen to my advice on what you need to do to ensure you elevate leaders to higher positions from where you met them.
“Bureaucracy is the art of making possible impossible.” In this episode, I share my frustrating thoughts on how I see bureaucracy killing initiative within organizations. Leaders will no doubt encounter these obstacles, and it is their responsibility to rise above them and lead themselves and their teams to greater accomplishments.
“You get what you focus on, so focus on what you want.” In this episode, I share my thoughts on two elements that every leader must master to win: Focus and Finish. They may seem simple at first, but if you don’t understand their importance, you may lead yourself or your team to disaster.
“Wisdom is better than silver and gold.” In this episode, I share the top seven takeaways I learned from my recent “new O6/Colonel orientation.” Many leadership lessons were shared, but certain themes and topics apply to a broader range of leaders who can take advantage of this wisdom at their current level to drive positive impact and better team effectiveness.
“Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months, and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character.” In this episode, I share my approach to the mindset needed to prepare for any high-stakes discussion. Whether it be a high-level, senior leader decision brief or a one-on-one, personal discussion with your supervisor, these two simple ways will help keep you focused and emerge victoriously.
“Reputation is what people think of you, Character is what you are.” In this episode, I share my thoughts on me dealing with the duality of how others perceive and how I want to maintain my own identity. Ultimately we all will have to live with the decisions we make, so which one do you prioritize: the thoughts of others or your own?
Welcome back Season 5 of Constant Elevation with Gabriel “gaberock” Avilla, the show for rising military and community leaders that seek to define the future. In this episode, I share a brief summary of what has happened since the end of Season 4 and why I decided to return.
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you.” In this episode, I share my recent realization that I am both physically and mentally getting burnt out. Recognizing the opportunity to minimize some of my efforts in order to recharge for what comes next, I hope that my story helps you find your own opportunity to hit the pause button and reflect on what is most important so you can continue to shape your life towards what matters most.
“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” In this episode, I reflect on past efforts of spreading aloha in my community. I wasn’t prompted by anyone to do these things, I just felt they needed to be done. During this holiday season, it is not uncommon for all of us to reflect on what we are thankful for, but we should also find ways to give back for no other reason than we simply need more aloha in the world.
“Sometimes the highest form of action is inaction.” In this episode, I share a recent experience where I deliberately held myself back from “helping” a teammate. Leaders have opportunities to let their teammates fly, but we have to recognize them ahead of time to make sure we don’t miss them or get in their way. If you put the work in ahead of time as a team, you can trust each other when it’s game time.
“Have you heard? The bird is the word.” In this episode, I reflect on my recent selection to be promoted to the rank of Colonel in the United States Air Force. I phrase my thoughts by responding to the simple question, “Now what?” I’ve worked for almost twenty years to climb this mountain, so what happens when you reach the summit? This isn’t a simple question to answer, but I have some initial thoughts to keep me motivated to continue to lead from the front.
“You were selected to lead for a reason, so remain true to yourself.” In this episode, I reflect on the one-year anniversary of the release of my book “No Pressure.” I’m still super proud of my accomplishment in creating a product that was designed to help leaders find their way through a successful command tour. Success can be measured in many ways, but I still believe remaining authentic, genuine, and striving to be the leader you would want to follow from the first to the last day of your tour is the best way to make a positive change.
“The expert in anything was once a beginner.” In this episode, I welcome Kaylan Swartz and Michael Klepfer to talk about their experience as new interns at Revival Fitness. We discuss their fitness backgrounds, what drove them to sign up to be an intern in the first place, and how they want to be positive examples of leadership within our local fitness community.
“I don’t run to add days to my life, I run to add life to my days.” In this episode, I discuss my recent results in the 1.5-mile run test as part of my annual Air Force Fitness Assessment. It has been two years since I’ve tested, and I get nervous every single time. I also share my perspective on the training components I use how to smartly prepare for the test and provide a FREE six-week training plan for you that you can use to improve your run time.
“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself. In this episode, I chat with Lt Col Dear Beloved about the four ‘ships of the Air Force mentoring program: Mentorship, Relationship, Sponsorship…and I propose a new ‘ship that brings everything together so we can Fly, Fight, and Win.
“We have the vector, now is the time to add thrust.” In this episode, I share my thoughts on the 2021 AFA Air Space and Cyber Conference held at National Harbor, Maryland. I was fortunate enough to attend and hear insights from our senior leadership, meet up with new and old teammates, and get “re-blued” as an Airman.
“A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” In this episode, I discuss why this sports analogy might not be the best to mimic as a leader in the workplace. While this leadership quote is popular, the application of this advice may leave you at a disadvantage because you aren’t paying attention to the opportunities and challenges that are available to you now. If everyone is moving where the puck is going to be, who is taking care of the puck now?
“If you can’t describe what you’re doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.” In this episode, I discuss my mindset on why I tend to be more process-driven as a leader, when the power of personality can and should shine through, and how using both techniques can drive optimal outcomes.
“Ask yourself if what you are doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.” In this episode, I chat with Colonel Heather Blackwell, Director of Cyberspace and Information Dominance, and Chief Information Officer, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. We talk about why self-assessments are an important tool to build a successful career, creating an environment and tuning your sensors to allow honest feedback to be given to you, and how the small yet consistent habit of self-reflection can empower yourself to be better every day.
“An active mind cannot exist in an inactive body.” In this episode, I share my thoughts on how and why I spend more time thinking and listening than speaking. Even though I have an extroverted personality, I spend more of my time taking in and processing information to ensure my output of information is well-informed yet authentically me. There are 24 hours in the day, choose to use them wisely.
“Reflection: looking back so that the view looking forward is even clearer.” In this episode, I share my thoughts on three simple steps that all of us can use when dealing with challenging times in our lives. We can’t avoid them, but we can transform them into a positive event where we elevate ourselves and keep on moving forward instead of letting it weigh us down.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” In this episode, I chat with Taylor Bialkowski, co-owner and coach at Revival Fitness. We discuss her journey in nutrition, the importance of nutrition as the foundation of any fitness program, and simple tips to help leaders get started and maintain healthy habits that support a healthy lifestyle.
As the saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” In this episode, I share my recent experience where my first impression with a senior officer went completely sideways. This event will go down as very formative for the rest of my career and how I will continue to grow as a leader. Every experience can be valuable, even the low ones, if you search for the right pieces and learn from your mistakes.
Despite what Uncle Snoop Dogg says, not everything you drop is considered hot. In fact, there are a couple of things you should avoid dropping as much as possible at work, else you’ll be considered an empty teammate who prefers to reminisce over the glory days instead of getting work done NOW. In this episode, I share my thoughts on a self-defense mechanism you may not be aware of and how to avoid embarrassing yourself.
Welcome back to Season 4 of Constant Elevation! I’m returning after a well deserved break, but tune in to this episode to see what I’ve been up to, what I’ve been thinking about, and why I decided to return. MAHALO for being a first-time or long-time listener, you won’t be disappointed! And please consider supporting Constant Elevation through my Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/constantelevation