Leading a Discussion With Your Airmen on "Mentoring"

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“Mentoring” Deliberately Developing the next Generation of Leaders

 (Command Teams: Use this template to customize your discussion)


Introduction – This discussion addresses deliberately developing the next generation of leaders and we do this through mentoring. This module till take a look at what the Air Force offers and what we can do better. When is the last time you thought about your legacy, and what does that look like? What do we as leaders want to be known for, and why do we not put thought into this? When we take time to think about our legacy we will see the importance of mentoring and specifically, developing those around us to be the champions long after we are gone. We must change the “me” culture and focus on the greater good of the organization.


Learning Objectives –  

1.       Understand what is meant by the term “deliberately developed leaders.”

2.       How do we develop our next generation of leaders?

3.       Be able to define what mentoring is

4.       Know some steps to begin developing those around us

Main Points

1.  What is mentoring? 

2.  What does mentoring look like in your organization? Why would you do it? 

3.  What steps can you take immediately to begin developing those in your unit?



1.      A video about coaching by Lt Gen Kwast.

2.       An article by Ian Altman – The Dos and Don’ts of Mentoring


Additional resources / links – Suggest integrated other videos or articles that might more directly apply at the local level as evidence of mentoring. Incorporate some personal examples that can give credence to the topic.


·         Goal: To increase communication among command teams and their Airmen to facilitate trust team building and foster mentoring. This lesson will facilitate that goal while discussing a specific topic with a small group members of your unit (this goal can remain for every module).


·         Questions for Command Teams to discuss:

o   Why do you think this conversation is important?

o   What do you want your Airmen to walk away from this discussion with?

o   What group will you be discussing this topic with (i.e., First-Term Airmen, CGOs, NCOs/SNCOs, civilians, supervisors, flight commanders)?

o   What forum will you be discussing this in (i.e. as part of a staff meeting, at a stand-alone event, at a commander’s call, during a brown-bag lunch session)?

o   Who will lead the discussion? Which Command Team members have a role?


·         For additional information on how to facilitate discussions, recommend reviewing the Facilitator’s Guide under the “Leading Squadron-Centered Learning” tab.

·         For additional resources on the topic, click on the “Additional Resources” link.


·         Introduction – What we’re going to talk about today and why

·         Goal – to keep the importance of esprit de corps in the forefront of our minds

·         Timeframe – 30 minutes

·         Part I – Read the attached article and watch the video, then we’ll discuss what we’ve read/seen.

·         Part II – Discussion (The samples are a starting point – use to customize the lesson)

o   SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTION 1: Why do you think mentoring matters?

o   SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTION 2: How do you think we can do a better job of deliberately developing the next generation of leaders?

o   SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTION 3: How can we bridge the gap between how we talk about the mentoring and what we do daily to develop the next generation of leaders.

·         Part III – What do you want your Airmen to walk away with? Do you want to challenge them to take action or change their behavior or step out of their comfort zone as a result of this discussion?