F16 Jets

Fly With Waldo

"*" indicates required fields


Never Leave Your Wingman

You may recall the memorable quote from the movie Top Gun:

“You Never, NEVER leave your Wingman!”

No words better represent the importance of teamwork as a fighter pilot.

You see, having a partner (wingman/wingma’m) is the foundation of mutual support & winning, & the #1 reason why we never fly solo in combat.


The way we maintain mutual support is by staying visual with our wingmen. This allows us to cross-check each other’s blind spots (our six o’clock) and divide responsibilities in very stressful environments.

Leaving your wingman or losing sight of them (or the target/enemy) can prove disastrous.  And when mutual support is lost, you become a “lone wolf” and leave yourself – or even worse, your wingman – vulnerable and exposed to the enemy. You can get shot down, hit the ground, or miss a target.

Winning depends on teamwork and teamwork depends on staying visual.
That’s why we have a saying in the fighter pilot world, “lose sight, lose fight!”   

Trust me, this is easier said than done, as it takes intense focus.

A great flight lead keeps sight of their wingman and a great wingman keeps sight of their flight lead.  The key is to have a consistent “radar sweep” of your wingmen & use your eyes and ears to stay abreast of their position and status.

So – how are you staying visual with your team to ensure mutual support?

  • Are you consistently checking in with them via video chats, text, or phone?
  • Do you know where their head is when they show up to work?
  • If you see a threat or problem developing, will you call it out?
  • Are you asking them for status updates to ensure they understand what needs to be accomplished, or are you assuming they have it all together?
  • Are you approachable and willing to hear feedback from your team?

Constant, consistent, and clear communication builds mutual support.  It keeps everyone’s situational awareness high and builds trust and confidence.

Staying visual is a fighter pilot’s main responsibility. We take it seriously.
If you want to succeed as a leader in business, so should you!

(PS – Would love to hear how you stay connected with your teammates, partners, and customers.)