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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."


Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Motivated Toward Aviation Safety

"Aviation Safety—A flight path that divides the wind of confidence with clouds of arrogance."


 
When people believe they are better than those they work with, they are unwilling to listen. When they are unwilling to listen, they minimizes the list of potential options to any situation. When a person is arrogant, he creates an aura of being unapproachable. He is closed minded. Unbending. And creates an atmosphere of isolation. Is this safe?


Is it possible to manage a safe operation when the leader of the team is arrogant and thinks he is better than everyone else? Maybe we all need to realize we pull our pants on the same way, and can learn something from everyone we meet. We are all in this life together for a reason.

Fly on with confidence... 
leave arrogance parked at the gate!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

14 comments:

  1. So true. Agree totally. No room in our society or especially our business world, for anything less than a great, open mind.

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    1. Thank you for the comment. There is no room for a closed mind anywhere in society! Be it a plane or the boardroom.

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  2. This is so true - There is also a spectrum - many pilots are a little too cocky to learn from others. As I've gotten older (and wiser) as a pilot, my pride has become less and less important to me. I am always happy to talk to and learn from another pilot regardless of their experience level.

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    1. Steve, I feel the same way. I think it goes either way. Some grow cynical as they age and think they know everything. Or they grow wise and know they don't. The second option is the best in my mind. Thank you so much for the comment!

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  3. I can say I've flown with quite a few captains that acted this way. For whatever reason they really put up barriers. I always try my best to continue working with them to make it a safe environment but there's no question it starts breaking down communication and safety. I think it's critical to remember this yourself when stepping into the left seat. I have tried very hard to remember all of the captains that did this and on the other side of the coin some of the best ones and act as such myself. Arrogance is a true problem in the industry, and I think the best solution is fighting it with humbleness every chance we get.

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    1. Daniel, I too have flown with both. And jumpseated with some of those too. Maybe those few (and thankfully they are few) are there to remind us what not to do, and to always maintain that humbleness.

      Communication is essential for safety... and creating an atmosphere of a team works far better than shutting people off under all circumstances.

      We can't control others, but we can control ourselves. So the key to working in this environment is exactly like you do... try to ignore the behavior and keep doing the job as the primary focus. Don't take it personal when they are standoffish and realize it's them.... not you. And just do the best job you can.
      That's all we can do.

      Until we are in the left seat and can set the tone of the flight deck. :)

      Thanks for the great comment!

      Delete
  4. Humility seems to decrease as power increases, unless you as a leader take an attitude of servant leadership. Not easy to sell this concept to senior leaders. Speaking the truth to power can be risky...

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    1. Eric, this is so true about the relationship with power and humility.

      I had the opportunity to ask Herb Kelleher what type of leader he was, and where he learned it from. Answer... He is a servant leader and her learned that from his mother. He is an example of no matter how much power he had, he kept his humility. So it is possible.

      Yes... I do know that speaking the truth to power is risky. And then, sometimes we have to say... "what the heck!" But it is Risky Business.

      Thank you for the great comment!

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  5. Well said and it cannot be said often enough. Thanks, Karlene!
    -C.

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  6. Jacob Veldhuyzen van Zanten - Tenerife, 1977. Even though many factors played a role in that tragic accident between the KLM and Pam Am 747's - turns out Jacob's character flaws resulted in some really poor judgment with many lives lost as a result.

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    1. On the spectrum of examples, this is the worst case possible. Thank you for the perfect example to the case. Park the arrogance at the gate!

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  7. johnblyon@hotmail.comNovember 30, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    We all need to remember about 'old & bold'. But, Karlene, I have a 'problem' with the term 'safety'; it's not definable. I suggest that the approach to this question should be "how does such behavior impact on the risk profile" for a given situation. Usually it will increase the risk factors.because, as is said, the useability of available resources is reduced; the FO becomes passive & uninvolved, thus putting most, if not all, of the 'load' on the Captain.

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    1. Interesting thought. Safety not definable. Perhaps there in lays the dilemma of ... "is it unsafe?" "No...but it could be safer." "But if it's not unsafe, then why fix it?"

      You are so right...this behavior definitely increases risk factors. Therefore making the mission unsafe. Oh... wait. Less safe.

      The cycle is interesting. Asshole in the left seat... turns off guy in the right seat who therefore doesn't contribute,... leaving guy in the left seat to fend for himself. But then... guy in the left seat doesn't know he's fending for himself anyway because he wouldn't listen if the guy in the right seat was contributing or not.

      Bottom line... it's a good idea for everyone to work together.

      Thank you so much for the comment!

      Delete

Thank you for your comment! If your comment doesn't appear immediately, it will after I land. Enjoy the journey!