MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, Calif. --
Have you seen the latest TV craze -- "The X Factor?" It's all new to the U.S., but it has been one of the U.K.'s top programs for the last seven years, peaking with an audience of 21 million for its 2010 finale.
It's the brainstorm of Simon Cowell from "American Idol" who said he was back because he wanted to do something more extreme, more fun and more exciting. Like "American Idol," it's a singing competition, but there is no age limit. If you think you have what it takes, get on stage and prove it.
Simon calls it the show "The X Factor" because, as he says, "You may not have the best voice, you may not be the best looking person, but you have something which defines you as a star."
Forget about a singing competition for a moment and let me ask you -- what is your X factor? What is it that distinguishes you? What is it that sets you apart or defines you as a person?
As a member of the Air Force and a part of a squadron, maybe it's medical knowledge or mechanical ability you bring to the table. Maybe it's your leadership or your organizational skills. Maybe it's your management skills -- an organization won't accomplish very much if someone doesn't prioritize and set goals. Maybe it's your social skills. Good customer service is vital to any profession, isn't it?
I say all of this to remind you that you can be an important part of your team if you discover and use those unique abilities you have that can bring success.
In 2009, Susan Boyle walked out on a stage in Britain, looking about as likely to be able to sing as my dog. People laughed at her. The two hosts, looking like weasels behind stage, made sarcastic faces. The judges poked her with questions about how well she could sing, smiling that "we've seen this before" grin. Then the music started and Susan began to sing.
A lot's been written about that moment, and most of it comes down to "wow!" I believe it reveals what happens when a person finds their X factor.
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