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NEWS | Feb. 11, 2008

The Secret to Success

By Col. Michael England 89th Maintenance Group commander

The Super Bowl is now in the record books and over the next year people will expend vast amounts of energy and emotion debating the outcome. 

What is it that separates the champions from the rest of the pack? If you are not a football fan, you can substitute whatever endeavor appeals to you and the question remains the same - "Why is it that some individuals or organizations are able to shed the bonds of mediocrity and achieve success in their chosen field?" 

Some would have you believe that success is a function of luck, and to some degree I guess luck does play into it. 

When a field goal kicker hits the goal post, the ball can bounce through the uprights and be the margin of victory, or it can bounce back onto the field of play and result in defeat for the team. 

Other people say desire is the key ingredient to that elusive concoction called success.
My father once told me "son it's like this everybody wants to go to heaven ... but nobody wants to die," meaning that everyone wants to be successful but some just aren't willing to pay the price to get there. 

Still, others think that it's pride that primes the pump that drives people and organizations to be successful. 

Perhaps success is a little luck, desire and pride mixed together with such things as preparation and competence. 

However, if you were to ask me what is the secret to success? I would say it all comes down to teamwork. I can tell you that from my perspective it is teamwork that has allowed the 89th Maintenance Group to achieve and maintain a level of performance that other aircraft maintenance organizations can only dream about. Ask any commercial airline how they would like to have a 99 percent on-time aircraft departure rate. 

Yet, the 89 MXG has reached that eye popping number for the numerous distinguished visitors we support. 

The only way it has been possible is through teamwork, commitment and sacrifice of every member of the team. 

Let me tell you a little about our team. We are a diverse lot with blue-suit, government employees and civilian contractors working in the 89 MXG. However, our team transcends the bounds of just the maintenance group. The success we have been able to achieve is also shared and in large part due to the hard work of the men and women of the 89th Operations Group and 89th Aerial Support Group. 

The aircrews work closely with us to ensure we mitigate anything that might jeopardize a successful mission. 

Then there are those "Port Dawgs," you have to see what they do to believe it! The volume of cargo and passengers they process on any given day is truly amazing. 

I think you can begin to get the picture. In supporting our nation's senior leadership as part of what the chief of staff of the Air Force has deemed a "no-fail" mission, we work in a dynamic and complex environment. How are we able to meet those lofty expectations day after day? One way - TEAMWORK!