As a general aviation pilot, I have learned first-hand the many lessons that flying can teach leaders regardless of the organization. One of the key lessons to be learned in both flying and leading an organization, is that the leader cannot focus; in fact, doing so is a great way to fly the plane into the ground or drive the organization into the ground. Both the leader and pilot must be constantly scanning the entire situation and use the feedback from this scanning to make the needed adjustments. This is called situational awareness, which is the second most important attribute of a leader after self-awareness.
Another key lesson for the leader is: prior to making any major or sudden changes, be certain that the organization is stable. Both new pilots and leaders often forget this lesson and become disoriented from the sudden changes which make for bad decision making.
A quick review of the two lessons: first, do not focus but rather scan, and second, prior to any sudden changes make certain things are stable. Following these two lessons both the plane and the organization have a chance to soar.
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