The Art of Saying “No”—Leadership Lessons from the Cockpit

Lesson #7: Leadership Lessons from the Cockpit

The Art of Saying NoI used to be a bit intimidated by Air Traffic Control (ATC). I believed they were the ultimate authority for each flight, and I went to great lengths to always follow their instructions. But as I gained a better understanding of my roles and responsibilities in the air, I realized that I’m the one ultimately accountable for the safety of each flight. That means sometimes questioning or refusing ATC’s direction. Consider these examples:

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Hire Slow, Fire Fast

What Makes You GlowWhen we first met, one of my clients was struggling with significant turnover. They had been operating with the mentality of hiring fast and firing fast. Whenever they had an opening, they hired as fast as they could to fill the void. After all, they had customer orders to fulfill and they needed people in place to do it. The problem was that not everyone was the right person for their company—they really didn’t share the company core values or fit into the culture.

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