Fly With Waldo

Confessions of a Claustrophobic Fighter Pilot

Confessions of a Claustrophobic Fighter Pilot

How courage, focus, and wingmen can help you tackle your fears Three years into my eleven year Air Force flying career, my life changed when I almost died during a scuba diving trip in the Caribbean. Thirty feet under the water and exhausted from excessive use of my arms to swim, I inhaled a full lungful of water and had the most intense panic attack of my life. I literally thought I was going to die. A week later, I found ...

Leadership Lessons from a Homeless Wingman

Leadership Lessons from a Homeless Wingman

This weekend I gave $5 to a homeless man that looked genuinely down in the dumps. I rarely give money to the homeless as you never know what the money will be used for. But this guy seemed different. He looked around 30 years old and was frail, in dirty, worn out clothes, and was walking slowly with his head down. As I sat in my car, feeling the breeze through the open window while waiting for the ...

Mission: Excellence! How you respond to challenges determines the altitude you’ll reach in life.

Mission: Excellence! How you respond to challenges determines the altitude you’ll reach in life.

Imagine being strapped into a single-seat fighter jet at 25,000 feet above enemy territory. You tear through the pitch-black sky at the speed of sound in a cockpit so small there’s barely enough room to shrug your shoulders. You must maintain laser-like focus as you operate dozens of weapons and sensors and fend off surface-to-air missiles.

Failure is an option!

Failure is an option!

When I flew in combat, the risk of failure was always present. I could have an aircraft malfunction, mess up a critical maneuver, or even get shot down. Success was never guaranteed. Success never is. The possibility of failing at something is a beautiful thing. It incites risk and even helps eliminate complacency. When something is at risk, fear, anxiety and doubt can result. But risk also forces you to stretch yourself and grow. It makes you train, focus, ...

Great new book on technology in the workplace

Great new book on technology in the workplace

Wingmen, If you're like me, there may be times when your IT systems are enough to drive you wingnuts! You may find your business struggling with costly computer networks that never seem to perform to your expectations, wondering what will happen if your systems break down, or you may even be experiencing losses in productivity, customer confidence, and even employee morale. To deal with these missiles, I leverage a reliable IT wingman (Randy Pelkey in Atlanta) who comes to my office every ...

Remembering on Memorial Day

Remembering on Memorial Day

I love Memorial Day. It’s a holiday to connect with friends and family while paying respect to the soldiers of our great country who have paid the ultimate price so that we can live free. From the young soldier in the War of Independence, to the fighter pilot over Nazi Germany, to the infantrymen in Iraq and Afghanistan, they were the ultimate wingmen for our country. They gave their wings away so that we could fly. In our busy, everyday lives, ...