- Lessons from the first female fighter pilot
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October 24, 2022
I just got back from a Scaling Up Summit in Denver, where I had the privilege of meeting the first female fighter pilot and Senator, Col. Martha McSally. She was an A-10 Warthog pilot with combat in Afghanistan. I wanted to share three lessons the Colonel shared with us.
  1. In air navigation, the 1 in 60 rule is a rule of thumb that states that after 60 miles a one-degree error in the heading will result in straying off course by one mile. This applies to business. We have goals, but we need to course-correct them as we go. This means the plan will change as we bring in new data. Don't obsess over the goal, obsess over the process and increase your odds of hitting the goal.
  2. When a pilot is lost, things get dangerous quickly, therefore they have a mantra to keep them safe, "climb, conserve and confess."
    Climb - Pull yourself back out of the problem so you can take a wider look at what is going on and better assess the situation.
    Conserve - Reduce the energy applied to the problem because you don't know how long it will be before correcting it.
    Confess - Drop the Ego, you are lost. Get real with the situation and get your Ego out of the way.
  3. For every 1 hour of combat flight time, there are 8 to 14 hours of preparation. A combat team will rehearse a mission countless times before going live. It's a routine, a process they follow, not unlike your businesses. They work together to clarify fact vs assumption, this way they reduce the likelihood of making bad decisions.
As I process through my notes I'll be sharing more ideas for you to consider as we scale up!
author avatar
George Morris
I use my 20+ years of entrepreneurial experience and training to coach businesses on scaling up rapidly using Verne Harnish's Scaling Up framework. By doing so, my clients are more efficient and profitable, giving them the ability to make bigger impacts in the world. I deeply believe entrepreneurs are the best equipped to be the vehicle for meaningful change, and in the decade ahead, we'll see a substantial shift in how business is done. We'll move to a model where company purpose, impact, curiosity, and team health will be differentiators in overall business success. As Simon Sinek has pointed out, the finite games are the legacy of the past; we're moving to an infinite game.