In 18 years of teaching Aviation Job Targeting at MSU-Denver, the one consistent theme that I’ve stressed to all of my classes, is if you want to get a job, you need to demonstrate how you can add value. Brian Tracy echoes this statement in his book, Flight Plan: How to Achieve More, Faster than you ever Dreamed Possible.
Every employer and client is looking to “buy” something that will add value to their business. The days of “putting in your time,” are essentially over if you want to be successful. According to Thomas Stanley and William Danko, authors of The Millionaire Next Door, the average self-made millionaire puts in an average of 22-years of hard work to reach that amount of wealth (Tracy 31). That’s 22 years of adding value under their belt.
In order to add value, people have to not only face the hard fact that they must put in the effort, they may have to get more education and skills training before they can do so (Tracy 34). The strategies that brought you to where you’re at, often aren’t enough to push you to the next level.
- Only 3-percent of people have clearly written goals and a plan for their achievement (Tracy 35)
- Preparation is the mark of a professional (Tracy 49). When I teach train-the-trainner courses, I spend 6 of 8 hours of a training class focussing on teaching the students how to prepare to train and 2 hours on actual training – it’s that important, Any professional golfer will tell you that the successful swing is in the preparation, because once the swing begins, everything that’s wrong in the set-up must be fixed in the split second the swing happens. For a pilot, thorough preparation could mean the difference between life and death.
- Keys to preparation – know where you’re going, make a checklist of what must happen; make a list of what can go wrong and your plan for mitigating or handling it; talk to others who’ve done the same thing to get their advice; read what others have written about the journey you’re about to take (Tracy 55-56)
Imagine if you board a flight one day and the pilot arrives late, looks like they are in a hurry and you hear him or her tell their co-pilot that they just didn’t have time to plan the flight today so they are going to “wing it,” (no pun intended). They didn’t check the weather, they didn’t check the weight and balance of the aircraft (essential to the plane being able to fly), they didn’t check the amount of fuel on board. Feeling good about your flight now? Is this a pilot who is attempting to add value, or is just getting by?
Obviously, you’re not going to feel real comfortable with Captain Unprepared at the stick – why would you run your business or your life in the same manner?
Tracy, Brian. Flight Plan: How to Achieve More, Faster than You Ever Dreamed Possible. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler, 2009.