Aviation – The Family that You Choose

Setting the Standard

In an aviation ecosystem that is ever-changing, we must be intentional about preserving professionalism.

Business aviation has been built by passionate, dedicated dreamers and innovators—those who, despite great challenges, persevered in connecting people, serving communities, strengthening economies, and empowering generations to be part of one of the most exciting industries in the world. Why? Because they loved and believed fervently in what they were doing. That energy and sense of community is what draws people into the aviation industry and keeps them there – the family you choose.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Confucius

While there is a lot of truth to the idea that loving what you do means it doesn’t feel like work, every career will include challenges, especially in times of growth and modernization. Committing to a career in business aviation, in particular, is committing to a high level of fluidity. Developing a work family, a network of mentors and colleagues you can rely on to educate you, prop you up, and hold you accountable is key to adapting, overcoming obstacles, and continuously conducting yourself with professionalism and panache. Constant change can be difficult, but as we discovered over the past few years, our resilient and adaptive nature allowed business aviation to continue to find success and experience growth, unlike many other industries or even other aviation sectors.

“Professionalism doesn’t mean you show up once and do the right thing. It means you show up and give your best effort every single time with your appearance, the way you present yourself, how you speak, your decision-making skills, your loyalty to your company or brand, and the way you treat others. People make a mistake when they assume their level of professionalism is only a reflection on their employer. It is also a direct reflection on them. The impression you leave with others will follow you throughout your career, so be sure to present yourself in a manner you can be proud of for the duration.”
Jenny Showalter
Founder & Chief Motivational Officer

Your reputation does follow you, your company, and the industry as a whole. Collectively, our actions reflect on all of business aviation and our ability to continue to experience and support growth amidst workforce shortages, supply chain breaks, innovation roadblocks, stiff competition, and other challenges.

Burn out from long hours, unethical competition, and protracted business processes may tempt us to waver from our path, but professionalism must prevail and as leaders it starts with us.

As leaders, everything we do matters. Treating others as we would like to be treated. Taking the time to listen to our team and not just hear what we want to hear. Being perceptive of what may lie beneath the surface and be left unsaid. Looking outside of ourselves and our circles to find and develop others who may not have access to the same paths we took. Bringing out the best in our teams by showing them the way. All of this goes a long way to building that sense of community—that work family—that will attract and retain future aviation professionals.

“Purposeful development of how we lead and follow, how we communicate and organize, how we manage distraction and fatigue will help to build that success by closing the gaps between the skill needed to complete a task and the skills needed to strengthen an organization with a common purpose.”
Michael France
Magpie

It’s critically important for us to support a culture that allows for continuous improvement and is positive, adaptive, transparent, up front, vigilant, and accountable. A culture that engenders professionalism and allows each individual, each team, the entire company, and the surrounding community to rise. Take the time to remind yourself of why you got into this industry and what makes you stay even when faced with difficulty or challenge. That’s leading with professionalism.

Read more about leadership in Michael France’s article “The Route To Success.

Ryan Waguespack, Executive Vice President, NATA

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Welcome to the Aviation Business Journal, the official publication of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA).

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