By: Sara Greco, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce
Col. Daniel Tulley, 6th Air Mobility Wing commander on MacDill Air Force Base, spoke at Emerge’s Professional Speaker’s Series event on July 15. It was a unique event for me to attend because I am a United States Air Force veteran and reservist who has successfully transitioned to civilian life and now works at the Chamber.
Before I separated from the Air Force, I had the opportunity to work with Col. Tulley for a short period of time as his public affairs officer. I witnessed his leadership techniques as he took command for the 6th Air Mobility Wing. He strived to be engaged with Airmen, saw the big picture of his decisions and was extremely approachable. Overall, I considered him a great commander during my short time working with him.
It was enlightening to see Col. Tulley speak to a diverse audience of young professionals, including military members, from around the Tampa area. To be completely honest, I had expected the same leadership briefing I had received over and over throughout my military career. However, what he did was turn a military leadership lesson into a very exposed discussion about what he had learned throughout this career and how everyone, young professionals and military alike, could use those lessons in their careers. I have rarely seen this side of a commander throughout my short career, but when I have, I have grown huge respect for them because it shows they are human as well as a humble leader.
Another great part of the event was the interaction between the military and the civilian young professionals. The one thing I have learned in my short time at the Chamber is that the military world can seem mysterious, as not many people in the public get to interact with it. This was such a great opportunity for young professionals to get to see a military leader in a more relaxed setting as well as talk to military members at their same stage in life.
Overall, I know everyone took away small bits of advice from the event like, “in communication, brevity and clarity are lost arts,” as well as a list of leadership books he recommended.