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Leadership Perspectives: 50th IG

Lt.Col. Rickie Banister 50th SW IG

Lt.Col. Rickie Banister 50th SW IG

Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. -- 1. How would you describe your leadership style?

My leadership style is very transparent and in your face. I don’t make decisions without consulting with my team of experts, knowing the final decision is in my hands.

2. What was your motivation for joining the Air Force and where did you start your career?

My motivation for joining the Air Force was I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. I started my career as a Mailman (7O2) at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.

3. What do you feel your strengths and weaknesses are?

I’m a very hard worker and look forward to change. I don’t stress and don’t wear my feeling on my sleeves. I’m very down to earth.
My weakness is I’m a very passionate leader, so I have to be careful and not make decisions based on emotions.

4. Who is a leader that stands out to you and why?

Colin Powell. He was a great leader that decided to put his family above all, even when it meant he shouldn’t run for President of the United States. He seem to always do things the right way and wasn’t afraid of making mistakes or taking chances.

5. What are your hobbies, past times or unique skills you have and what draws you to them?

I’m a bowler. Every day you bowl you never know the outcome. You can be up and down all in one day, and it reminds me of life. Never get too high or too low because it could all change in the matter of seconds.

6. What aspects of leadership are the most important to nurture?

Followership. To be a great leader you must understand it isn’t always your way or your decision. Everyone has someone they answer to. Your leadership will be based on how well you follow. If the members who work for you see you be a good follower they won’t hesitate to follow you.

7. How do you handle stress or challenges?

I live every day like it is a lifetime.

I always tell myself, “this too shall pass.” No matter what we are going through there is always tomorrow. Again, it goes back to the previous statement. Don’t get too high or low. Challenges make us stronger and teach us who we really are. Stress is a state of mind.

8. How do you prepare junior Airmen for leadership roles?

I allow the Airmen under my leadership to make mistakes and to always be a part of the decision making process. They always know I want their honest opinion. I tell them anyone can be in a leadership position but a good leader is one who understand he/she doesn’t know everything and isn’t always right. Don’t be afraid to take chances, admit you were wrong and never give up on yourself or the people who work for you.

9. What’s some advice that you’ve received that’s stuck with you?

The best advice I have ever received was don’t wear you feelings on your sleeves and always smile even if you feel you can’t. Always be loyal to whoever you work for and you can learn from good and bad leaders.

10. What is an action or routine that you need to do every day?

I come to work and say good morning to everyone and read my devotional.

11. What common trait do you think all successful leaders have?

They can admit when they are wrong and they never stop trying to be great every day.

12. Is there anything else you would like to add about leadership?


Leadership is a gift. Sometimes you love the gift you received and sometimes you don’t. But always remember every gift is what you make of it. It was given to you by someone who wanted you to have it, thought you needed it and felt you knew exactly what to do with it.