In Frankly Friday

A couple of months ago I spent a whole week in flight safety school. Specifically, I was studying what makes the difference between safe pilots and dead pilots.

I learned that 93% of all accidents were caused by bad choices.

And most of the choices fall into one of three categories:

  • Disregarding of risk.
  • Ignorance to following a process
  • Clinging to ego

As our instructor went slide by slide, deconstructing the events that led up to countless horrific accident scenes, every pilot in the room would shake their head in disbelief at how unbelievably stupid, and preventable it all was.

I couldn’t help but think about how the same is true for good leadership.

Companies crash when leaders:

  • Disregard risk
  • Ignore the process
  • Can’t let go of their ego

The rest of us review their accident footage, shaking our heads in disbelief at how remarkably easy it would have been to do the opposite.

Can I tell you the most numbing story I heard the whole week?

Our instructor reviewed the accident report involving a student who had sat in this very classroom only months ago.

“He was sitting here just like you all were, saying, ‘I would never do that.’ And then he did.”

And he killed his wife, his father-in-law, his best friend, and his three-year-old son.

All because he knew, but didn’t do.

I saw grown men cry that day. I saw the most experienced of aviators humble themselves, and ask some serious questions.

And now, I have a question for you:

  • What do you know for sure is good for you, but haven’t decided to do?

As my friend Josh Stewart so wisely says, “Standards are more important than goals. Because a standard is what you’re willing to accept. And you’ll never allow yourself less than a standard you’ve set.”

Let’s set a higher standard, my friends.

Don’t risk what you’re not willing to lose.

Follow a process.

Check your ego when your friends share a concern for what’s up.

Happy, safe flying out there.


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