August 24, 2018

10 Leadership Tips from Jet Fighter Pilots

Leadership Tips from Jet Fighter PilotsBeing a good leader is not something that can be taken for granted. It takes regular focus on self improvement to maintain a high standard. Strong leadership skills come with time, dedication, and intention.

So it’s always useful to have a quick summary of the strengths of character needed to be one of life’s leaders. It’s particularly interesting if the advice comes from jet fighter pilots who, by the nature of their training and profession, have some strong characteristics.

Their personality traits usually include self-control, motivation, persistance, confidence, and patience. They are also opportunistic, risk takers, and have strong leadership skills.

So here are ten leadership tips demonstated by the example shown by jet fighter pilots:

1. Be Dedicated

If something needs to be completed then dedicate yourself fully to the task and invest all your attention to it. That is one of the first lessons a jet fighter pilot could teach and it’s the primary tip to remember if your goal is to inspire others. And inspiring others is one of the most important attributes of a great leader.

Half measures and half-hearted attempts are not acceptable. Put the attention and in the intention in and get the job done.

2. Be Reliable

Jet fighter pilots can find themselves in highly stressful situations while operating very advanced technologies, yet they can be relied upon to deal with all that responsibility.

Leaders are dependable. They accept their responsibilities without complaint and can be relied upon to fulfil them. There’s no way they could avoid total responsibilities for their actions – and as a leader, neither should you.

3. Be an Inspiration

People will feel drawn to follow those who inspire them. Aim at simply being the best version of yourself, in any given context. No matter what it is you are expecting from your team remember always to set the example.

When others see that you are setting that example instead of demanding that they behave in a certain way, they will more motivated to emulate you and grow their owns skills.

4. Be Cooperative

Jet fighter pilots don’t work in isolation. They rely upon, and trust their lives to, their navigators, operators, mechanics and others who comprise the team that keeps a fighter in the air.

Although leaders know that they have to be the pathfinders at times great leaders know they have to rely on their team to get projects completed. Strong and successful teams have a flat hierarchy and everybody has to bring in their best to contribute to the whole.

5. Be an Example

Being a strong leader doesn’t mean your skills and knowledge are taken for granted.

It’s often reassuring to see a leader prove his or her knowledge and skills. By doing so it demonstrates to the team that their leader strives to maintain standards and works on self-improvement

6. Be a Motivator

It’s an old saying but jet fighter pilots would remind you that if you fall seven times, you should get up eight times. There’s no point in berating yourself for even the slightest mistake because there is no such thing as failure when you are committed to moving on to successful outcomes.

Everyone experiences highs and lows, so it all comes down to keeping your motivation strong in the face of setbacks or errors.

7. Be a Visionary

There’s an old saying in aviation, “Never let an aeroplane take you somewhere that your brain didn’t get to five minutes earlier”. For jet fighter pilots this is especially true.

Similarly, leaders maintain a vision of the what is to be accomplished. Their imaginations maintain a strong vision of the eventual outcomes and successes.

It is this vision, when communicated to the team, that serves as a reminder and an inspiration, a goal to aim for and a heading for your internal compass.

8. Be Organised

A cockpit is devoid of any unnecessary clutter. There is a place for everything and everything is in its place.

Strong leadership requires a similar level of organisation; of all resources and of time. No leader could inspire and motivate a team if they are constantly stressed and overwhelmed with chaotic and unplanned activities.

9. Be a Communicator

Another saying in aviation is, “Aviate, Navigate, Communicate”. It’s a reminder of three most important things a pilot must do; fly the aircraft, maintain a heading and altitude, and thirdly, communicate with the crew, the ground, and other aviators.

Team leaders need to communicate regularly and effectively with their team members. It’s impossible to be a source of motivation and inspiration if you’re absent or if you fail to engage with your team, both as a group and individually.

Relationships need to be built and maintained through regular contact and nurturing.

10. Be Humble

Learn from jet fighter pilots and keep this important tip in mind: great leadership is all about life-long learning.

Change is a constant so there will always be new skills and technologies that need to be mastered. The fact that you can admit that you don’t know everything but you’re curious and always keen to learn new things will make you appear more approachable. Passing on those skills and the found knowledge will reinforce your status as a leader.

You don’t have to become a jet fighter pilot to be a good leader but you can learn from these examples.

If you fly any type of aircraft these tips may help you become a better pilot too.

Thanks for reading. I hope you found this post of interest and of use.

Please give it a like and share with others. If you have any tips you would like to pass on please add a comment below.

Happy Landings!

Ben Lovegrove