Ohio Airman Earns Visionary Leadership Award
By Capt. Paul Stennett, 179th Airlift Wing
/ Published April 14, 2018
MANSFIELD, Ohio -- MANSFIELD, Ohio – Lt. Col. Clarence “Kenny” Maynus from the 179th Airlift Wing, maintenance group was recognized Feb. 16, 2018 for his contributions to the Ohio National Guard in 2017 by earning the Major. Gen. Wayt Visionary Leadership Award.
The award was presented at the Joint Senior Leader Conference to one Airman and one Soldier in the Ohio National Guard for someone who has demonstrated leadership with the ability to think globally, create a learning organization, use the information for continuous improvement, and breakthrough innovation while providing visionary leadership to ensure stakeholder driven excellence.
Maynus is relatively new to the 179 AW and the ONG; however, the impact he has made to the organization not only helped change a culture but drives innovation and a desire for success.
“I was hired in February 2016 as the Deputy Maintenance Group Commander; however, with the Unit Effectiveness Inspection (UEI) approaching, I was asked to be the Inspector General (IG) due to my experience as a previous IG and having gone through a UEI. I had a strategy that worked there and it could work here,” said Maynus. “For many years, the wing’s natural focus has been successfully developing airmen, training and the procurement of equipment due to the complexity associated with multiple aircraft conversion. The Air Force Inspection System just needed a little polish”.
His knowledge and strategy helped the 179 AW to earn a rating of “EFFECTIVE”, no short measure for having taken the role as Inspector General a few months prior to the inspection.
Col. Ken Kmetz, 179 AW Maintenance Group commander said “Though Lt. Col. Maynus was relatively new to the state of Ohio, he was able to help guide this Wing, and assisted two others, in preparation of the Wing’s Unit Effectiveness Inspection and its Capstone.”
Though Maynus led the wing through the inspection, he made it clear that he could not have done it alone.
“We succeeded mainly because of the support, action, and leadership of all commanders as well as the collaborative effort of every Airman. I was fortunate to work with such a great team,” said Maynus.
Maynus added, “I can bring ideas and strategies but it really takes leadership at all levels to implement. I’m just so thankful to be able to work with so many great leaders and mentors throughout this wing.”
Maynus explained that much of his strategy immerged simply from reading the strengths and weakness identified in multiple UEI reports on other units. The training, tools, and structure of the Commander’s Inspection Program, the foundation of UEI success, developed from synthesizing lessons learned and benchmark procedures across the field.
It is evident that the strategies put in place were effective. The Airmen at the 179 AW were able to take that guidance and implement it into their own sections and into their daily routine. Not only were they accountable to the organization but the held themselves accountable every day to ensure that the mission gets done.
Two leadership qualities that Maynus was able to exemplify was his ability to lead by example and accountability. “I never ask someone to do something that I’m not willing to do or have already done myself”.
Maynus explained “Personal accountability is the main ingredient for mission effectiveness and success. If we are professional and hold ourselves accountable, then mission success will be a natural result”.
He also spoke about the organizational culture that that he aspired to create and maintain.
“I have two daughters,” Maynus explained. “Regardless if they join the Guard or not, I seek to develop an environment and a culture where they would feel comfortable, valued, and respected, simply for their ability, work ethic, and potential.”
This type of attitude and drive creates a spirit of innovation. People must feel valued and know that their actions impacts the entire mission. Maynus recognizes that the organization cannot be innovative and grow unless the people feel respected and have pride in their unit.
“People are happier and they have better morale when things work efficiently and effectively. There’s few things that frustrates an Airman more than wasting their time” said Maynus. “If we can trim one minute of frustration off of an Airman, then it was worth it.
Part of being innovative is having a vision, a general road map to where you want to go or need to be.
“I think that a visionary leader is someone who can take a variety of different options and paths and creates the right path, for the right time, at the right place,” said Maynus.
He also explained that officers and senior noncommissioned officers are selected to be problem solvers.
“There’s no such thing as a helpless officer, Airmen count on leadership to develop vision and solutions, and simply lead,” said Maynus.
“Fortunately for me, everywhere I look at the 179 AW, I see leaders at all ranks with attributes that I aspire to emulate,” said Maynus. “I see qualities in unit personnel that are absolutely phenomenal and these are the professionals that deserve the recognition who immerged successfully through the UEI amid years of complex aircraft conversions”.