April 1, 2021

As part of KA leadership’s ongoing servant leadership training, we are performing some “soul searching” exercises and sharing.  We each completed a survey to determine how we perceived our own behavior and skills, and several peers completed a survey to rate us on a confidential basis.   We then reviewed our perceptions and compared them to the peer surveys. The painful reality for most of us, as shown by the surveys, was that we learned that we think higher of ourselves than those around us do.

We were required to share our individual and peer survey results with the entire leadership group and identify any gaps and how the gaps will be resolved. Each leader also shared with those in their daily circle of influence what they learned and most importantly what they were going to focus on correcting.

This experience has fostered an environment of personal and team awareness and growth. It was a little uncomfortable for most but was well worth learning our own realities. Sharing with those in our area of influence demonstrates our commitment to humility and personal improvement.

The next exercise our leadership team will address is to share our answers to the following two questions, in person, in five minutes:

  1. The most important lesson I have learned in my life is……? (Please explain)
  1. The hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life was……? (Please explain)

Answers to these questions will provide greater insight into our peers who we deal with on a daily basis but might not really know.  This exercise will not be too painful, and it is a stepping stone to the next couple of months of exercises!  In some ways, in my mind, it’s like going to the gym weight room with a trainer. You get warmed up and go through a workout. Just when you think the workout is almost over, you learn that the trainer is about to add the heavy weights and wear you out. However, the only muscle our servant leadership exercises affect is the one between our ears!

Like me, many on the leadership team are sweating one of our upcoming assignments. Within sixty days of answering the questions shown above, we each will give a 5-to-10-minute talk entitled “My Life (My Personal Autobiography).” Here is where it gets hard!  We each need to decide which significant events, joys, dreams, accomplishments, sorrows, and disappointments we will share but we can spend no more than 15 seconds talking about careers or work! For a workaholic like me, this is going to be tough!

Over the past several days, I have been really doing some soul searching, trying to decide what I want to share.  As a result of this exercise, I started to remember all sorts of sorts of good, not so good and some really bad things that happened in my life.  There were lots and lots of fun events that I almost had almost completely forgotten.  Had it not been for this assignment, I would not have remembered the high school girl who really liked me and went on a date with me despite the fact that she was not feeling good.  At the end of the night, I leaned in to kiss her good night at her front door and she threw up all over the place! Her mother came running and I honorably offered to help clean up the mess despite her mother assuring me that she would take care of it.

That story caused me to remember another.  I can still see in my mind a high school girl friend’s father in the middle of the night standing in his underwear in the street outside of their house hollering “Damn you Jerry King” as he was shaking his fist. I was running in the opposite direction feeling a strong sense of “mission accomplished” knowing that I had just finished one of the best toilet paper house wrapping jobs I had done in a long time!

Just maybe, sharing some of your answers to the questions we are answering with those you care about might be helpful. I am proud of our people who are painfully sharing their answers freely despite the awkwardness and pain on our team journey to preserve our servant leadership “King Kulture” as we serve God, Country, and Family.

PS- If you buy me a couple of rum and diet cokes, I might share with you some of the really good stories that really do need to be forgotten!

Written by KING AEROSPACE Founder, Jerry Allan King-Echevarria.