How to lead like a professional pilot

Aviation is one of my passions; in a different world maybe I would have ended up as a pilot.  I love all things to do with flight and while some may use the label ‘Plane Spotter’ I prefer ‘Aviation Enthusiast’!  For some years now I have been following some blogs written by professional pilots and have been fascinated by dynamics of the flight deck.  In training pilots a lot of time is spent in helping them understand what is going on in their own head and how interactions between those in the cockpit can go wrong.

Clearly this is a great place to look for some transferable leadership lessons.  In a reflection on Moe Glenner’s book, SELFISH ALTRUISM: Managing & Executing Successful Change Initiatives, Minda Zetlin over at looks at four things any leader should avoid based on wisdom from being a commercial pilot:

  1. Don’t assume you always know best
  2. Don’t react to problems too quickly
  3. Don’t believe you’re invulnerable
  4. Don’t go it alone

Great wisdom for all leaders irrespective of where we lead.  Head over to the original article for a full explanation of each of these.

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