Aug. 10, 2022

Chad Hardesty - "Being ME got me HERE" Innovating + Risk Taking + Authenticity = Chad! Ep 38

Chad Hardesty -
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Chad is the Commandant for the Edwards Airman Leadership School at Edwards AFB and gives us his top 5 lessons learned running the schoolhouse. He spent 14 years and 2 special duties in the security forces and enlisted professional military education communities. Currently, he develop's entry level supervisors through a five week leadership development course. Additionally, he's grown a passion for driving digital transformation through the education lenses while building an innovation eco-system across the Air Force within the educational community. He's managed many initiatives focused on human performance, talent management and emerging technologies with tech industry.   Since 2016, he has worked with multiple universities and industry partners nationwide to address education challenges across the Air Force. His work with AFWERX has spurred multiple solutions that have scaled across the U.S Air Force and Army. Chad's efforts have also launched many products and prototypes focused on human capital and micro-transportation. Chad lives in Lancaster, California with his wife and soon to be first child on the way, and also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports & Health Science.

Conversation Talking Points:

0:00 - Intro

2:03 - Who would play you in a movie?

3:23 - What book should every Airman read?

6:05 - How did your mentor help you find your ‘why’?

7:18 - “Being ME got me HERE”

8:41 - Top 5 Lessons learned from Airman Leadership School

13:58 - Lesson 1: Talk less and listen more.Act on what Airmen tell you.

16:20 - Leveraging SMEs “I don’t want to help everybody, I want to give everybody the opportunity to help others”

18:07 - Lesson 2: Be authentic! Being authentic is more inspiring than the process.

21:25 - Were you ever uncomfortable being your authentic self?

23:06 - Why leadership takes courage.

24:13 - Lesson 3: I’m OK…You’re OK.  Start from the position that everyone is doing the best they can. Learn to encourage and support, which is more rewarding than finding fault.

28:53 - Lesson 4: Being right isn’t enough. Make Airmen’s ideas a reality.

31:05 - Having a “good idea” is only half the battle - Getting it supported is the other half.

34:16 - Lesson 5: Everyone has a story - Find a way for Airmen to tell their story in a way they understand.

40:28 - Not sharing ideas and resources and how this mentality will put us behind.

41:36 - The advantage of risk taking.

47:18 - Why I love Chad so much and AF Quarantine University.