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The Pilot -- Learning Leadership: Applying Supersonic Jet Flying Principles to Business and Life Hardcover – February 1, 2011
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
''I've never been a pilot, but I do know a few things about leadership. Bill and Colleen Hensley have written an exciting story that blends these two worlds. In this unique book you'll follow unforgettable characters through challenging situations, all the while learning important leadership concepts you will use throughout your work and life. Stimulating and significant, The Pilot is a great read.'' --Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager and Lead with LUV
''A 30,000 foot perspective on leadership and followership brought down to earth in the form of a riveting story. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve their leadership, followership, or ability to complete any task with flawless precision.'' --John Donahoe, president and CEO, eBay
''Flying a jet demands the very best from a pilot. The parallels with business endeavors are striking. The Hensleys provide a primer to the young business aspirant that carves a path to success. Follow their lead and you are well on your way to a rewarding future.'' --Captain Rick Hauck, NASA Astronaut, CEO, Combat Pilot, USN, Ret.
''Read this book if you want to be clearer and more confident about your business's destination, path, and systems--and your own role at the helm. Who can better guide you than the Hensleys' book based on their training and experiences as jet pilots, which prepared them to become successful business entrepreneurs? Their learnings about setting goals and flawless execution worked for them, and can work for you.'' --Rafael Pastor, chairman of the board and CEO, Vistage International
''If you think flying a supersonic military jet has nothing to do with basic principles of leadership in business, think again. Every chapter of this exciting narrative about flight preparation, risk aversion, and split-second, high-speed execution bears upon what business leaders think about every day or, better yet, what they should think about. This book sets forth how to do things right when it really counts.'' --Dr. Eileen Mullady, former head of school, Horace Mann; former university administrator, Princeton and Columbia
''A book with a riveting story that's a must read for all serious leaders. You should require every employee in your organization to read this book now.'' --Jeffrey Hayzlett, best-selling author of The Mirror Test, former CMO, Kodak, and judge on ''The Apprentice''
About the Author
For twenty-five years, Bill and Colleen Hensley flew supersonic jets and worldwide transport aircrafts in the U.S. Air Force and state-of-the-art commercial airliners for two of the largest airlines in the world. In addition to being authors, speakers, radio talk show hosts, and consultants, they are the owners of a successful real estate business, investors in start-up companies, and active in multiple nonprofit organizations.
Top customer reviews
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What makes it different from so many other books of this genre is that it grabs the reader by the lapels in the first chapter, and never lets go. It's one of those rare occasions in which a book provides insight into a world that most of us never have a chance to experience. As a non-pilot I was amazed to learn how so much of what pilots do can apply to what I do.
The book is separated into three main sections. It begins with a concept the authors call Mastery of Performance. After reading that section, I came away a much more clear understanding of what it means to truly master something. In particular, I now use their PEER Performance Model on a regular basis.
The second section of the book provides insight into something that is usually not mentioned in a leadership book. That something is followership. They discuss a concept called Mach One Followership. It caused me to look at the idea of followership with a completely new perspective. I never viewed the idea of followership as exciting, but when I read how the authors integrate it into the foundation of what it means to be a leader, it makes perfect sense.
The third section of the book deals with a particular type of incredibly effective leadership called Center Seat Leadership. A leader at any level will read this section and come away with an increased understanding of what it means to lead from the top, yet with the ability to maintain what the authors call a perspective from the center. After analyzing the authors' discussion, what I take away from it is a renewed appetite for making sure that I clearly communicate the course for my company while remaining accountable for crucial leadership decisions.
It was also refreshing to read the discussion of the importance of feedback. Feedback is a concept that is integral to the training programs that my company develops, and as such it was refreshing to read a leadership book that recognizes how it can be such an effective tool.
As I stated above, this book will grab your attention and simply cause you to look at so many different things with a fresh perspective. As an added bonus, the 15 questions that are included at the end of what the authors call the "chapter debriefs," caused me to take a deeper look at a lot of different ideas.
One thing is for sure. Your first read of this book will certainly not be your last.
I related very well to the three main concepts: Mastery of Performance, Mach One Followership, and Center Seat Leadership. I can see all three in my career. Once I matured, I learned to see my job as making my boss look good. I felt it was my responsibility to master the areas of performance that I was responsible for ... to become the guru, and go-to person in my area of responsibility. I felt I was supposed to follow my manager, but be able to stand up when I disagreed. When I got promoted into management, I quickly learned that my primary responsibility had become making my people, and hence my department, successful. It was no longer about me & my personal performance. I had many Pivotal Leadership Events ... my first being way back in high school when I let a leadership position go to my head!
Anyway, great book; I really enjoyed it. I'm going to add it to my recommended reading list for my CEO Peer Group.
A great story with insightful information for everyone who runs a business. The authors attitude and success driven formulas echo an old fighter pilot mantra..."no points for second place"! Instructive, informative and a great read.