A Superhero’s Challenge
“Loki: What have I to fear?”
“Tony Stark: The Avengers. It’s what we call ourselves. Sorta like a team. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes type thing.”
“Loki: Yes. I’ve met them”
“Tony Stark: Yeah, takes us a while to get any traction I’ll give you that one. But let’s do a head count here. Your brother, the demigod. A super soldier, living legend who kinda lives up to the legend. A man with breathtaking anger management issues.”
– Marvel, The Avengers
I’ve always been an Avengers fan. Not only for their incredible deeds and awesome powers – and not to mention killer looks! – but also for their ability to work together despite their most unique disparity and clash of personalities and backgrounds.
I mean think of it: Men and Women, Aliens, demi-gods, and, well, Tony Stark, all coming together andworking together as an (almost) cohesive team to achieve their goals. It amazes me every time. The very first time I watched the movie in the theater, it struck me how close the resemblance can be to many flight crews and other highly-skilled teams: Immense egos (Stark) colliding with brute force characters (Hulk, SMASH!), trying to work with powerful yet somewhat antiquated (Cap’n) thinkers, while a strong female figure (Widow) uses her more or less charming ways to also pull her weight. Wow.
Being superheroes didn’t help them be better people, and only after much internal struggle did they eventually come together as a TEAM. Then and only then were they able to prevail and achieve their goal.
Rings a bell? I thought it would. We all have come across those types in our careers. The Egomaniac, the old-fashioned thinker… I could make a list. The truth is, I could probably name myself in that list somewhere. But what have your experience been when facing such a character? Most of the time a confrontation with a superhero leaves bruises and leads to much frustration, headaches and problems. Take even our beloved Captain Kirk. Bold and brave leader as he was, he was also called “a tin-plated overbearing, swaggering dictator with delusions of godhood”. I can think of a few other coworkers I’ve had who could bear this description…
“With the lives of people in your hands,
you are truly superheroes every time you deliver them safely home.”
So where does that leave us? You and I work in a highly competitive industry, where your success is measured by your abilities and skills – your powers. We are all superheroes in our minds, comparing each other continuously and gauging each other’s powers and accomplishments. But often times we are called to work together, unite as a team to achieve a bigger goal, complete a bigger mission, while keeping collateral damage at a record low if possible.
But every team is different, and each individuals will bring in their strengths and weaknesses. So only by working together can you reach your team’s (and individual) full potential, complete efficiency, and eliminate the threats and errors that may arise. With the lives of people in hand every day you work, or higher stakes than some could even imagine possible, you are truly superheroes every time you deliver them safely at destination or reach your target goal, whatever it may be.
During these last chapters, we have covered all the super powers you will need to allow you to:
As a team, you will need to apply these principles every day. This will be the challenge, as you face your greatest enemy: the human nature. So whenever a situation arises or you prepare your team for a mission, remember these three keywords: Communication. Leadership. Experience.
We have discussed the ins and outs of understanding the human emotions, and how they affect our communications and interpersonal relations. Before starting anything with your team, take the time to ensure that each member feels comfortable with themselves and each other working together.
Misplaced preconceptions have to be taken down, and proper understanding of every one’s emotional state and communication styles have to be established. Once created, clear communication channels and interpersonal trust will actively reduce the risk of errors or problems arising with every word shared. Efficiency will in turn increase as the need for verbal communication reduces and the team starts to know and understand each other better. With a solid foundation for trust set up, you are now able to carry on.
It is only once mutual trust has been established that a leader can then share their vision unhindered by miscommunications or prejudice. It will fall on you to ensure that they work together as a cohesive unit:
Understanding each member’s strengths and weaknesses, ensuring that they have received the training required to equip them for the task at hand, and guiding them towards the performance and safety targets.
“Leadership is an action, not a position.” ~ Donald McGannon (Forbes’ 50 Heavyweight Leadership Quotes)
You will often have to change roles between Leader and Manager, but always be there for your team as they struggle (they will struggle) and as they achieve success. Lead by example, and be the first to demonstrate the communication and skills you require from your team. Enable them to achieve the goal through their own abilities and strengths, and Inspire them to unite and work as one, and not individual self-declared superheroes.
Einstein once said that the only true knowledge is Experience. A soldier may train, but only battle will reveal his true inner strength. In our highly sophisticated and evolved domains, we all train to achieve some ultimate performance goals. Yet we have all faced the age old conundrum once the training was over: No one would hire us due to the lack of experience.. but without a job, how would we gain that oh-so-important experience?
Why is experience so highly valued and regarded?
“People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Experience is what molds us into professionals. A degree or a certificate can prove you have acquired skills and knowledge, but experience is what will one day define your success in the face of adversity. With every day, every flight, every achievement or failure, embrace the story, the lessons, the experience that you have acquired through it.
As a leader or a team member, that experience will allow you to perceive beyond mere facts and give you a broader vision. That new perspective is what you need to then carry on and start stopping problems in their tracks before they even happen or threaten your operation. That new perspective will also give you the edge you need to move your team forward ahead of the game, and achieve greater success than you could even anticipate.
Once skills and knowledge are no longer a factor, an experienced team can now focus on innovating, using their creativity and newly acquired freedom to then propel themselves outside of the age-old “box”, find new ways to achieve goals and enhance the operation as a whole.
With experience, you have molded your team from Super-Egos to Super-Heroes. With experience, you have moved your operational ground-zero from “capable” to “expert“, from “reactionary” to “visionary“, from “target oriented” to “opportunity driven“.
The End, or The Beginning?
Our journey together ends here, but your team’s success is only dawning. With these “powers” in hand, the potential is endless.
Much has been said, and so much more remains. Yet a few words will now suffice: Communication. Leadership. Experience.
Any self-respecting group of superheroes likes to name themselves: The Avengers, The Justice League… James T. Kirk! I offer you THE T.E.A.M. – Some of them are very intelligent. Some of them are very bold. Most of them are very skilled. All of them are flawed. And they need a leader. Are you ready?
|JD picks me up for a spin in his Lear 45 . . . or am I picking him up for a spin?
Either way: TEAMWORK!
- JOIN THIS SITE………………..VERIFY………………………..JOINED
- OTHER NETWORKS…………VERIFY………………………..SHARED
— — — — — — —
— — — — — — —
LINED UP & WAITING
Departing March 1
Blogging in Formation Week—Posts by your favorite Pilot-Bloggers!
Dealing with Passengers
— — — — — — —
I invite you to COMMENT, SHARE, TWEET, LIKE, EMAIL & +1 etc., below!
vRight down below this line!v