What does ‘giving 110 percent’ look like?

  • Published
  • By Maj. Andrew Griffin
  • 8th Maintenance Operations Squadron commander
Growing up in school or sports and even in the Air Force, we have been encouraged to "give 110 percent" in order to get something done, or in order to be successful.

While serving in our Air Force, the only thing we are required to give is 100 percent. So what can we do to get that extra 10 percent? What does it look like?

Assuming you have an extra 10 percent of time in your day, what could you do with the time? Some people use the extra time in the day surfing the internet while at work or even having Facebook open on their computer all day long. Some people take the opportunity to work on physical fitness, professional military education, or even upgrade training. What do you do to give 110 percent?

Think about your day, and if the first thing you need to do when you get to work is fire up Facebook to find out who wrote on your wall while you were off line, you might want to readjust your priorities. While I do recognize the Department of Defense has said they encourage personnel to use social networking in order to stay in touch with family and friends, it was never meant to be at the detriment of the mission. Sometimes people feel that they absolutely have to have minute-by-minute updates on what their friends are doing, and while this might be important, you have to ask the question, "If I am focusing my attention on Facebook, what am I missing at work? What else could I be doing with my time?"

One thing you could focus on in order to get that extra 10 percent is your physical fitness. With the new standards that took effect in July 2010, the average failure rate has substantially jumped. The interesting fact is that the 20- to 30-year-old group is raking up the highest amount of failures by category. So, in order to get that extra 10 percent, you could ask your supervisor for a few extra minutes at lunch time to get a good work out in, with the overall benefit a healthy life and an improvement in your assessment.

A second area you could focus on to get that extra 10 percent would be on military education. It doesn't matter if you are working on your Career Development Courses, your Course 12, Squadron Officer School, or Air Command and Staff College, take advantage of the time and opportunities to accomplish your required training. Being stationed at Kunsan gives you the unique opportunity to focus on personal growth. The fact that Kunsan is a remote assignment gives you the chance to focus on all of the areas that you have been neglecting or postponing. If you look at your day and carve out an extra 30 minutes at the beginning or end of your day, you can make leaps and bounds in advances in your personal education. You need to plan on flying out of Korea with your professional military education accomplished.

The last suggestion you could focus on is taking on additional responsibilities. If you work in a shop that needs some improvements, or you see areas that could use some dusting, hop up and take on the challenge. Do not wait for someone to come to you and "volun-tell" you to do something. We all have areas in our building or processes we do on a routine basis that could use improvements. Get up and take it on. You should always focus on leaving a job or an area better than you found it, and no one should have to tell you what needs to be done. Look around, ask questions like, "Why do we do things this way?" If it is done in a proper manner, most supervisors would recognize the aggressiveness and appreciate the fact that it will benefit the entire shop.

Giving 100 percent is the only thing that is really required of you while you serve in the Air Force. But if you find yourself wondering why certain people get recognized, or do better in physical training, or are advancing faster than others .... maybe they are the ones who are giving the extra 10 percent. Take it North!