Setting the Standard
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.”
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.
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.
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.”