Expectations set your path in life. For those of us fortunate enough to have someone believe in us, those expectations are set a little sooner than for those who have to chisel out a set of expectations later. I have watched children and airmen achieve amazing things because someone expected them to.

To create an environment of high expectations, you have to believe that you can achieve. Believing or expecting is adopting an attitude that enhances success. The basic element in that success is to love what you are doing and to believe that what you are doing is making a difference in the lives of others. Love it or leave it.

Broaden your base of experience. Leaders at the top know something about many things. Learn something about every aspect of the business, the macro and the micro. Be able to relate to those who are tied to the core of what you do, and be able to help them relate to the big picture.

Lead by example. People believe in leaders they can identify with and trust.

Get to know people above you and below you. Seek out others who have opposing views and attempt to understand them. Be ready to support your ideas with fact and conviction.

Find a mentor. Then be a mentor to practice and share what you have learned. No one is infallible, so listen and observe with a critical ear and eye.

Be courageous in private and public venues. Gloating is not courage. Sometimes it is harder to be quiet than to charge forward.

Get involved in your community and in your professional organizations to give back and grow. You grow as you experience; you experience as you attempt; you attempt as you dream. Dreaming is planning, giving forethought to a course of action. Planning is preparing through reading, training and observing those who are already successful and practicing behaviors that will make you successful. A sense of satis- faction comes as you grow stronger by helping, doing and dreaming.

Women in the military or in any chosen career today can expect to work hard, plan, prepare and meet the same standards as their male counterparts and achieve the success that our mothers and grandmothers only dreamed of. Every success we achieve builds upon another. Success builds success.