Lesson #13: Leadership Lessons from the Cockpit
To assure safe flights, pilots need to anticipate and address problems early so they won’t grow out of control.
There’s a common mantra among private pilots: Figure it out on the ground before launching into the sky. Once you takeoff, there’s no “pulling to the side of the road” to get help.
Truth is, we can identify most of the challenges for any given flight prior to launching into the sky. Things like weather limitations, mechanical issues, ATC/traffic complications, fuel requirements etc.
For example, it’s common practice to identify alternate airports when the weather at the destination is forecasted to be below approach minimums. This came in handy for me during a flight to Frederick Maryland (KFDK) when weather got below minimums. Prior to the flight I had identified Leesburg (KJYO) as my alternate airport with the approach plates readily accessible. I ended up diverting to Leesburg. Although inconvenient, it was not stressful because of preflight preparation.
What obstacles/barriers/challenges can you “anticipate” for your business?
The same holds true for your business. You can anticipate most issues early, which is key to keeping your business on track. Simply “park” your issues on an “Issues List” and address them based on priorities.
The weekly Level 10 meeting (a staple in the EOS Process) provides a structure for tackling the right issues at the right time BEFORE they become hot potatoes. This weekly cadence provides leaders with the ability to predict better and stay in front of their businesses (proactive vs. reactive).
There’s a reason that commercial aviation has achieved a 99.999% success rate.
Good solid processes along with proactive problem solving have contributed to the high success rate within commercial aviation. Your business is no different. Anticipate and park issues – then swiftly tackle them based on their priority and level of impact on your business.
You’ll then be cleared for takeoff!
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