Hello from the flight deck. Here is a question for you. Is good leadership important?
Answer: Of course it is. Good, effective leadership is vital in any organisation. If one is part of a team, that team has to have leadership. The leader (captain, chief pilot, chief instructor) must possess the qualities necessary to run a safe, motivated, dedicated team. The leader must set an example to his crew or his team. He should command respect. This respect has to be earned. Respect does not just 'happen' by virtue of appointment or badges. He has to be honest, be an effective communicator, a motivator and an example. His skill and knowledge, his manners and demeanor, should be beyond reproach. He should set 'the standard'. He should not court popularity, but should display those traits of character and personality that motivate his team members and those who report to him. The team should 'want' to work for him, and look up to him. Compassion and also a sense of humour are desirable traits. These characteristics do not only apply to the flight deck or cockpit of an aircraft, they are relevant in any environment or organisation. As far as flying training is concerned, learning how to 'pole' an aircraft is only one aspect of aviation. The development and demonstration of leadership qualities is vitally important and particularly relevant to Flying Training Organisations (FTOs) and Flying Schools - the crucibles for future professional pilots and private pilots.
But what do I know?
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