“Before flights, pilots must get a picture of the weather that is expected over the whole area that may be covered during the proposed flight.”

— Private Pilot’s Handbook of Weather,
by Lt. Col. Gene Guerny and Capt. Joseph A. Skiera,
published 1964

It is fascinating to find wisdom in places that are unexpected.

In our “free room” (where people leave things they no longer need) I found the Private Pilot’s Handbook of Weather. I opened it right to the quote I opened the newsletter with.

I read that and kept reading. Yes, it was about pilots and weather. I kept seeing guidelines for leaders.

Here are the four points for pilots that the booked opened with. (Note: This is slightly paraphrased and shortened for clarity.)

  1. Before flights, pilots must get a picture of the weather that is expected over the whole area that may be covered during the proposed flight.
  2. During the flight, the forecast for flight weather must be constantly checked against actual observations.
  3. When the forecast has gone wrong, a decision, based on an understanding of the weather patterns forming must be made.
  4. No general rule can be applied to the specific conditions that arise.
  5. The pilots must share what they learn with others currently in flight and for future learnings


These are all brilliant points of wisdom for any leader.   I am going to keep reading and learning about the weather.  And about leading.

I did notice one significant difference between pilots and organizational leaders.  

Organizational leaders actually can influence the weather.  They can cause storms. They can create conditions for projects to fly in blue skies.

Which leader do you strive to be?

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,

Alan Willett
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