No fighter pilot flies a combat mission solo and neither should you! 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. The trusting and collaborative relationships you build with your wingmen are critical to success in life.
The 6-O’clock position in fighter combat is behind you — your most vulnerable position and the most difficult to cross check. In business and life, you need wingmen to ‘check your 6′ and support you when you are engaged in activities that channelize your attention and cause task overload. It also improves communication across all entities of an organization.
You aren’t in business to survive. You’re in it to win. Winning (while maintaining your professional values) requires serious effort and the consistent application of disciplined training, detailed preparation, and passionate leadership. By briefing and de-briefing your missions with your team, you can help your organization adapt to its constantly changing environment and continually update its training program.
In sales, it is all about confidence and adapting to your environment. The winning leader and salesperson is 100% prepared for each mission. When fighter pilot prepare, we ‘chair fly’ – We contingency plan and mentally rehearse every detail of the mission until it is perfect. By chair flying your sales and business missions, you can plan for contingencies and ultimately build confidence in yourself and your team
Relationships are fundamental to successful business transactions. The key to building and sustaining them is mutual trust. Connecting with people and developing a reputation as a trusted resource is one of the most important traits you can have in business. When you combine trusting relationships with a product or service that truly provides value, you win in business…and life!
Fighter pilots have an amazing aptitude for remaining focused and overcoming fear when flying combat missions. The same lessons of focus can apply as we seek victories in our unique experiences in business and in our personal relationships. By focusing on the mission, your wingmen, and on winning, you can overcome fear, build the courage to take risks in your personal and professional life, and gain victories in all that you do.
It takes courage for a leader to make difficult decisions for the benefit of the organization as a whole. A leader must also remain accountable at all times and always act with integrity. Without integrity, your reputation along with trust diminishes. Mutual respect and the ability to inspire in others a desire for excellence are the keys to successful leadership.
Business should be 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 and in 2003 when I started my speaking business, I’ve learned that in business and life, we survive solo, but win together. True 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 a lot of the business community and embrace a culture of trust instead.
Just like well trained fighter pilots, well trained organizations should never enter into combat. A great business strategy does not seek confrontation and should achieve its objectives without it.
True, business is often competitive, highly stressful, and requires a tremendous amount of sacrifice.
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 it to business.
By diligently preparing for each business mission and trusting in our leadership to provide a strategic vision and a set of 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 have been limiting our 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, think of how focused we would be!
Think of how much we would want to win!
This is what I call applying the “fighter pilot state of mind” to business. It is a spirit that is dedicated to superior performance and a commitment to excellence in all that we do.
The key to winning in business comes down to TRUST — trust in yourself, trust in your team of wingmen and trust in your leadership. When you embrace trust and engage business missions with a cooperative mindset, your personal and organizational effectiveness will improve dramatically.
You can also help eliminate barriers that stifle productive business practices, maximize your personal performance and the value of your team, and build the relationships that really mean something in business.
This is the ultimate philosophy of my life and my seminars.