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Gen. Lindsley takes hands-on approach | News

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Gen. Lindsley takes hands-on approach
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Some bosses prefer to orchestrate employees from the four walls of their office, but not Brig. Gen. Walter Lindsley.

The commander of 7,000 mechanics, engineers and software developers at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex, prefers being a man among his people.

Lindsley talked about his style, and why he believes it's getting results.

Brig. Gen. Walter Lindsley wanted to schedule his interview with 13WMAZ in his office, but not because it's where he feels most at home.

He said, "I want to make myself accessible. I'm not accessible up here."

Lindsley wanted the interview in the office, because he felt 13WMAZ's request to bring cameras on the maintenance floor, watching him chat with employees, would detract from the atmosphere he's created.

It's one in which all employees can approach him with what's on their mind.

Lindsley said, "They're just very clear, open, unvarnished."

He welcomes that communication, mainly because he used to be one of them. Lindsley entered the Air Force in 1982, not as an officer, but an enlisted man turning wrenches on C-130s.

He said, "What's going well, not so well, what are they concerned about? If I don't know, I can't take action on it."

Taking action is a big part of his plan to improve the relationship between management and the workforce.

Lindsley and union leaders both say they're building trust through more frequent and respectful communication.

He says he approaches encounters with the union, and everyone who works at the ALC for that matter, with this philosophy.

Lindsley said. "You will be amazed at how much folks will do if you treat them with dignity and respect. You will be amazed. Set high expectations, then applaud them, because they will exceed them every time."

His approach, five months into the job, seems to be helping improve productivity markers in the depots.

While his style may differ from his predecessors, he said, "The mission of Robins is agnostic of who I am." But, he says the goal of producing top-notch combat capability for the Air Force always remains the same.

Lindsley's wife, Diane, is from Warner Robins, although she and their three children moved all over the country with the Air Force.

Commanders of the Air Logistics Complex typically hold the job for about two years, before being reassigned to another post.


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