In business and life, you survive solo, but win as a team. Wingmen are those men and women who help accomplish the mission when challenges arise. They are partners you feel comfortable going to for help. The trusting and collaborative relationships you build with these key partners are critical to success in life.
When flying, the 6-O’clock position is behind you. It’s a blind spot that leaves you vulnerable to threats and is difficult to crosscheck. In business, you need wingmen to ‘Check your 6′ & provide mutual support when engaged in stressful activities that channelize attention & cause task overload. A Check 6 Culture improves trust across organizations.
Wingmen Never “Wing it!” Winning in business requires building a performance focused culture of continuous learning, the relevant application of technology & tactics, coaching, and disciplined training. By briefing and de-briefing missions, you can help your organization adapt to change, lead with courage and stay profitable.
Fighter Squadrons operate under intense conditions that require high standards to maintain operational excellence. To drive a culture of performance, everyone must execute extreme discipline, attention to detail, and open communication. Squadron leaders don’t demand excellence, they command excellence. Your leaders should too.
The key to building and sustaining relationships is mutual trust. Connecting with people as humans (& not just employees/suppliers) is one of the most important things you can do as a leader. It’s about humility, empathy, & heart. By being open to feedback & appreciating your unsung heroes, you can help create an inclusive & diverse culture.
Fear is something any peak performer must overcome in order to grow. By focusing on your team who supports you, what it is you’re fighting for (the “meaning of your mission”), and being service oriented to those in need, you can step out of your comfort zone, build the courage to take risks, and gain victories in all areas of life.
You are always on parade! As such, a leader must emulate excellence and character both in and out of work. This involves remaining accountable at all times, caring about others, and acting with integrity. Mutual respect, the ability to lift others up, and maintaining high standards are keys to successful leadership and building high performing teams.
Business is not about combat. It’s about cooperation, communication, and a commitment to a core set of values that serve others.
It’s about relationships and results.
Since my days as a fighter pilot & starting my speaking/coaching business in 2003, I’ve learned that in business and life, we survive solo, but win together. Success is a bi-product of partnerships, collaboration and mutual trust.
With our constantly changing business landscape, we need to break free of the combat mindset that is prevalent in many businesses and instead embrace a culture of collaboration and trust.
Moreover, just like well trained fighter pilots, well trained organizations should never enter into combat. After all, a great business strategy does not seek confrontation and should achieve its objectives without it.
Business is indeed often competitive and highly stressful. However, no matter how we look at it, our lives are never truly at risk in business as they are in actual combat. We can still learn valuable lessons by exploring how we would perform if we were actually in combat and apply this mindset to business.
By diligently preparing for each business mission and trusting in our leadership to provide a strategic vision and objectives that are understood by all, we can maximize our ability to win.
If we learn to overcome our fears, take courageous risks, and focus on the mission rather than ourselves, we can break performance barriers that stifle growth.
Finally, if we engage each business mission as if we are in combat and our lives (and our wingmen’s lives) depend on our success, our focus would skyrocket.
Winning would be the only option.
This is what I call applying the “fighter pilot state of mind” to business. It’s a spirit dedicated to superior performance and a commitment to excellence in all that we do. It’s a mindset that converts fear to courage, re-hacks your responsibility, and inspires you to find meaning in your mission.
Winning ultimately comes down to TRUST — trust in yourself, your team and your leadership. When you embrace this trust and double down on your commitment to growth, performance has nowhere else to go but up!
This is my life philosophy & how I conduct business. I’m honored to be your wingman & look forward to flying with you.
These foundational principles are essential to building cultures of trust, teamwork and excellence and can elevate any leader or team’s performance.