Leadership For the New Aviator
Flying Naked: How Owning Your Issues Will Fast Track Your Career!
Lesson #1 The things that you’re hiding from will hurt you
- I started out thinking I wasn’t smart enough to be a pilot
- Now, 20000 flight hours and 35 years as an Airline and Corporate Jet Captain
- I look back at how I progressed, slow but steady
Tip: If you think you can’t do it, you’re right
Lesson #2 When in fear or doubt ask for help
- As a low time pilot I was afraid my questions would give me away as a newbie
- And make me look stupid
- But as I gained confidence I reached out for help
- From my classmates, my sim instructors, my fellow pilots
- Put your false pride aside and ask!
Tip: People are waiting to help; it makes their day…and yours!
Lesson #3 Don’t make excuses for who you are
- My flying career started out with an excuse that my eyesight wasn’t good enough
- That led to me not applying to Navy flight training
- I was afraid I’d “wash out” so I didn’t even apply!
- Fear keeps you from doing things that will prove you’re not good enough
Tip: Do the thing you fear: “Eat the Frog!”
Lesson #4 Vulnerability doesn’t have to be painful but it might be
- Fast forward, when I had been flying as an airline pilot
- One of my fellow crewmembers asked me if I was “ex-military”
- That meant “did you fly as a pilot in the Navy?”
- I figured, I’d “fake it until I make it”
- I automatically answered “Yes.”
- Vulnerability means being honest about your “issues”
Tip: Warning: Don’t spill your guts to just anybody
Lesson # 5: Use what is put in front of you to progress
- The aviation industry slowed down long enough for me to learn
- I was frozen in the flight engineer seat for 10 years
- That gave me time to learn
- By watching, from the flight engineer seat
- But you can’t count on something like that
Tip: Scout out opportunities to learn and seize them! (Carpe Diem!)
Lesson # 6 Own your stuff!
- I didn’t want to own up to the lies of my past, to be vulnerable.
- I would leave out that I was an enlisted crew member in a Navy squadron, not a pilot.
It took me 10 years before I was able to say that “Yes, I’m ex-military but I didn’t fly as a pilot!”
Tip: Accelerate your progress, don’t wait for “a sign!”
Lesson # 7 When you look for help you will find it
- Reach out to people you trust
- When you find them build trust slowly
Tip: Vulnerability means being uncomfortably honest about your “issues”
I still catch myself wanting to say I was a “jet fighter pilot…!”