It’s better to be vaguely right than precisely wrong….

There are old pilots and bold pilots but no old, bold pilots. Caution, judgement, self-mastery and restraint have prolonged many a career.  The real professionals maintain a healthy self-doubt The only thing scarier than a bug-eyed, white-knuckled, map-shuffling lost pilot is a bold one who is blithely, confidently, flying in exactly the wrong direction to

Learning to be a leader

If you would like to become a better leader, then I suggest you focus on building your skills as a better learner. I talk more about this in this interview.

Signal to noise ratio

Aviation language is clipped and clear, deliberately precise and limited to allow communication that is unambiguous, direct and actionable. Nuance and emotion are excised; pronunciation is prescribed and vocabulary defined. Feelings, interpretation and poesy have little place in the clear prose and efficient information transmission of operational flying.

Make reality your friend

Many are the pathologies of the human mind and one of the greatest of these is its capacity for self-deception, be it via blithe optimism, stark denial or sour cynicism.  Of these, optimism and denial are perhaps the deadliest.  My father, whose flying career started in open-cockpit fabric biplanes, developed in combat in spitfires and

The emotionally enabled leader – lessons from aviation

Australians hardly have a reputation for timidity and over-politeness. More the opposite, frankly.  And this is found to be one of the reasons for their remarkable record in flight safety. Unhappy about duty hours and fatigue? Barge into the chief pilot’s office and tell him face-to-face expletives not deleted. The Australian reputation for directness, even