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Leadership Lessons from the Cockpit: Committing to Your Destination

Lesson 1: Leadership Lessons from the Cockpit

Leadership Lessons from the Cockpit #1My last article referred to the drastic difference between the 99.9 percent success rate in commercial aviation versus the 50 percent success rate for business owners. Today I’m beginning a series of short “lessons from the cockpit” posts to address the ways business owners can narrow that gap.

Know Where You’re Going

Sounds like an easy one, right? Can you imagine getting on a flight to Los Angeles and having the person next to you think you’re going to Tampa, while another person thinks you’re heading to New York?

Believe it or not, this happens frequently in the business world. If I were to ask each member of your leadership team separately about your company vision, I would probably get five different answers.

In the above scenario, the company vision is your organization’s “destination.” The key is for everyone on your leadership team to be 100 percent on the same page about where your business is going and how it will get there.

Thankfully, there’s complete alignment when it comes to commercial flights. All key stakeholders—from the captain (i.e., the flight’s CEO), his or her crew (a leadership team) and the passengers (customers/clients)—completely agree on the flight’s final destination!

While it’s true that this outcome is harder to accomplish in the business world, it’s just as important to get it right—every time you fly.

Stick to Your Flight Path

When you know exactly where you’re going, it’s much easier to identify when you’re getting off track. Luckily, just as the cockpit has instruments to keep a pilot on the proper flight path, we can access tools to help our business stay on course.

Get on board with your crew and make sure everyone knows his or her part in helping your business reach its final destination. I know you’ll take a BIG step toward narrowing that success gap!

Next Steps


1 thought on “Leadership Lessons from the Cockpit: Committing to Your Destination”

  1. Good post … reminded me of “The Checklist Manifesto” by Atul Gawande. In it, he describes how aviation procedures are a prime example of how to take something complex and provide a simple process for success. it’s not exactly a business book, per se, but a worthy read about how to define core elements that, strictly adhered to, drive teamwork and prevent errors. Sounds sort of like … EOS. 🙂


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