“I don’t care what you think about me or what your perception is of me as a pilot & aircraft commander. No matter how I’m perceived at any given moment during our flight…never assume anything. There are no egos in this cockpit – if you see something that doesn’t make sense, speak up. At the end of the day do or say whatever it takes to not let me land with the gear up, run out of gas, or crash into the mountain. It’s not your right to challenge me…it’s your obligation.”
These are the words I have used whenever I fly with someone I’ve never flown with before. It’s imperative in aviation that you create an environment of open & honest communication. It never ceases to amaze me how many aviation accidents have occurred because of lack of communication within the cockpit.
Since the mid-1970’s the aviation community has focused on the concept of Crew Resource Management; a philosophy that promotes an environment where everyone is expected to communicate in an open & frank manner, without the fear of punishment, ridicule, or retribution.
I feel blessed to have had this training as a pilot because it has served me well in the civilian corporate arena as well.
In this podcast episode I talk about the power of this concept and how you can apply it your everyday activities and journey.
As leaders we need to understand our obligation and power of creating this open environment; that means throwing out your ego and demanding your team respectfully challenges your decisions and authority. I’ve heard some argue that it’s a sign of weakness to allow this type of “subordination”; this is small-minded thinking.
It actually takes more confidence and courage to allow respectful disagreements. All great leaders surround themselves with an inner circle that pushes and challenges the leaders decisions. That’s how fiercely loyal teams are created; and fiercely loyal team punch mediocrity in the face and produce greatness.
Do whatever it takes to create an environment of open and frank conversation; tell your folks that it’s not their right to challenge…it’s their obligation.