by Frank Burroughs, Ph.D.

Learning to fly a fixed-wing aircraft involves a certain amount (some may say a lot) of technical understanding of subjects like physics, meteorology, regulations, and even aviation jargon. In that sense it is like most other pursuits, each having their own technical base and special language. In training to become a private pilot I expected all of that. What I did not expect were so many lessons that apply to the even more complex challenges of leadership of yourself and others. This article is not about aviation although it uses the training process of aviation as the examples and illustrations. So, while some jargon and illustrations from flying are used it is not about that. But if you are a pilot (current, rusty, or even aspiring) I hope you will relate to and enjoy the connections. While a tiny percentage of the population (less than 0.1%) fly themselves around, all of us struggle to some degree with leading ourselves and others. If the lessons about leadership learned in flight training can help us all be better leaders, the 0.1% should not be the only ones who benefit! 

Read the full white paper Leadership Lessons from the Left Seat here, or click here to view all of Forward Momentum’s free white papers.

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