Lawyers and aviators: planes and the law. Lawyers and aviators are alike. I have been both most of my adult life. Here's why they are similar and can be rather successful because of their training and background!
It all began as a Loop. I began to see and observe leadership principles when I got a job as an Admiral's Aide in the Navy, otherwise knowns as a "loop." The two admirals I worked for were great. Others were not so lucky.
What's a Loop? A job as an Admiral's Aide is one of the most demanding, stressful, and rewarding non-combat jobs in the Navy. Here's what a loop does and sees behind the curtain. It's quite a lot.
The initial guidance. Great advice for starting any job. Be on time, keep your mouth closed, be honest with and loyal to your boss, and recognize and use your boss's authority, when appropriate.
Know your boss - the "head," toothpicks, and a pillow. Your boss will most likely impact your ultimate success or failure, so know what your boss wants, needs, likes, and -- does not like. It might not be fair, but it is reality. Many times, fairness is not a part of the equation.
Details matter - a helicopter ride. Through advance planning and thorough preparation, you get to know details. It's very important to know the details. And, even if you fail because you do not follow this rule and make mistakes, a really good boss will take care of you.
The Change of Command speech. Once you know the details, check the details. Trust, but always verify! As you will see, this is one lesson that proved true more than 25 years later.
Don't touch my stuff. Organizational work habits are good, and scenario planning is important. Always be thinking of what will happen in the future and planning for the expected and unexpected!
Be on time. Enough said. But, if you are running late, let others know. If you miss an appointment with a service provider, apologize sincerely and offer to pay for their time. They won't accept it, but will appreciate it.
Leaders remain cool when failure seems imminent. In the heat of battle, when things are going wrong, don't panic and keep your cool. Develop an exit strategy and a recovery plan. And accept any offer for help.
Barbershop scuttlebutt. Be discrete in what you share about others' professional and personal lives, especially your coworkers. When it comes to your boss, it's no one else's business, so zip it. Loose lips, sink ships.
At trip to a ship and a Navy Chief. Always know where you are going and how to get there before you go there. Be at the right place at the right time and always be looking for a trusted ally on the way if you are lost.
Deckhand, a congressman, and two admirals. Worth repeating, confidentiality matters. And so do relationships! Be kind to one another because life is short and can change dramatically with no notice.
I need a blowtorch! A great post about thinking outside of the box and a good recovery when things go wrong, there is very little time, and failure is not an option!
Be a team player. Everyone appreciates a teammate. Here are three things I did then and still do now to be a team player.
Timing is everything. As leader must know and appreciate being on time and the importance of timing.
Loyalty on the job. With any job, you should be loyal to your employer and your boss. Here's how that works and why.
More on loyalty and integrity: If there's no doubt, there's no doubt. Loyalty and integrity are important in every job.
Use the right tools - If you want to get the job done right, you have to get the right tools for the job.
Know when to shut up. As a leader, knowing when to sit down and be quiet is more important that knowing when to speak up.