In the aviation community, pilots literally live and die by them. It’s been said that a pilot’s Flight Manual (rule book) is written in blood; you don’t follow what’s in the rule book, bad things can and will happen.
In Navy/Marine Corps aviation, the rule book for all aircraft is the NATOPS flight manual. In the opening paragraph of this manual is this blunt statement: “This manual contains vital and required information on all aircraft systems, performance data, and operating procedures required for safe and effective operations…..Read this manual from cover to cover; it’s your responsibility to have a complete knowledge of its entire contents.”
Pretty clear-cut and straight forward; you don’t follow the rules you’ve got a good chance of losing your wings, your aircraft, and your life.
There’s another statement in this opening paragraph that is equally powerful and important. It states: “This manual, however, is not a substitute for common sense and sound judgement.”
In this Podcast episode I highlight:
That rules are necessary, and can be a good thing.
However, there may be times that doing the right thing is in direct violation to the rule, regulation, process or law.
As leaders we need to be prepared to have the courage to always do the right thing.
No rule, regulation, or rule can cover every possible contingency.