Wordlessly

Harvey Kanter’s recent book on leadership, Choosing to Lead, is my current read. If you want a practical, straightforward, fairly quick read on leadership, give this book a look.

I just finished chapter 13 entitled Decisiveness. Two thumbs up. His main illustration is a familiar one, the 2009 event of Flight 1549 leaving LaGuardia and crash landing in the Hudson River-a scrutinized decision by Captain Sully Sullenberger. Here’s an excerpt from the chapter:

The entire scenario from the first bird strike to the initial impact of a water landing took just under 3 1/2 minutes to play out. Relying on their training to save everyone on board, the response of Captain Sully and his crew was to act decisively. In a much later interview Sullenberger said, “…he worked sometimes wordlessly with his first officer, Jeff Skiles, in dividing urgent chores despite never having flown together before… ‘We were able to collaborate wordlessly,’ Sullenberger said, ‘I didn’t have time to direct his every action… You have to deal with the most time critical things first… Situational awareness is the ability to see the entirety of the forest, but knowing at any given moment which tree is the most important one.'”

When I read that, one word struck me-wordlessly. Both of these men brought all of themselves to the situation resulting in a terrific outcome-wordlessly.

Sounds pretty unrealistic to expect all our relationships to reach such a high level. But here’s what’s not unrealistic-working to show up ready to be that for others whom God has put me in relationship. I cannot control how they show up. But I am completely responsible for bringing all of myself, ready to respond wordlessly.

All Airports Aren’t the Same 

I fly 3-5 times a year. I’m sitting in TPA right now. And here’s my observation: The suggestion to get to the airport at least an hour early doesn’t always apply.

If you have to return a car rental, are using long-term parking, are traveling with a large party, or have baggage to check, sure-give yourself enough time. That isn’t always the case. 

TPA has rarely presented a time challenge for me. Today, from walking in the door and exiting security, it took maybe 10 minutes. Yes, 10 minutes.

All Airports aren’t the same. Certainly all travelers aren’t either. Resist traveling hysteria. Know yourself and your airport. And remember, suggestions aren’t rules.

Happy flying!