Fasten Your Own Seat Belt

08

JUNE, 2016

Inspiration
Leadership

One thing that fascinates me each time I travel by flight is the safety procedures that cabin crew take us through. It becomes more interesting when you have to listen to this twice or more in a day. The most important aspect of this announcement is the call for everybody to fasten their seat belts.

I have witnessed several scenes where crew members have to remind passengers to fasten their seat belts before the flight takes off. During a recent trip to London, I pondered and gleaned on some leadership secrets from this very familiar scenes.
I will highlight the secrets below:

The value of a smile. These crew members know how to smile. Smiling is contagious and has the power to make others smile in return. Being the first point of contact, the airline team welcome people with cheerfulness and warmth. This is important since they recognise the impact their attitude would have on the passengers. Most often, this continues throughout the duration of the flight. The lesson here: As leaders, we must understand the secret power of a smile. It creates an environment of trust and connection between leaders and the teams they work with. A smile in the face of a leader can change what your team tells you and how they do it. Michael Hyatt, the former chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, emphasises that “smiling is one of the simplest, lowest-cost solutions to building quality relationships”.

“smiling is one of the simplest, lowest-cost solutions to building quality relationships”

Emotional self-awareness. Knowing one’s internal state is very critical in our world today. The cabin crew do realise the link between their emotions and what they think, say or do. They understand that unchecked negative emotion would leave a sour taste in the mouths of their passengers. This leads to a decline in sales for the airline, since dissatisfied passengers would most likely not patronise the airline in the future. As leaders, we must recognise how our feelings affect our performance. Not only that, we must have a guiding awareness of how our values and goals affect other people.

High level of Intentionality. Besides, I observed how purposeful they performed this routine task. Leaders must consider what they say and do. We cannot afford to leave anything to chance. Sometimes, I wonder if the airline crew will forget to do the safety announcement, but no! They have got everything planned out. As leaders, we must see that our relationships, attitude, health, family, finance, priorities, vision and other components of our leadership are all done on purpose.

Decisive actions. The most important part of their job is having the confidence and knowledge to be able to deal with security and emergency situations which may arise. As a result, they have the authority to remove any passengers who refused to obey the safety regulations. This shows that effective leaders must take decisive actions when they have to do it. The status quo is not an option. Being decisive is very critical to achieving organisational goals, after all, the action leaders take or don’t take will determine their accomplishments.

Being decisive is very critical to achieving organisational goals, after all, the action leaders take or don’t take will determine their accomplishments.

The value of Knowledge. The importance of a knowledgeable person is immense.Air cabin crew shows evaluated experiences in what they do. Doing what they do regularly makes them adept in it. For example, they must know how to administer first aid to passengers. Moreover, they must consistently deliver outstanding standard of customer service and maintain this standard throughout the flight. To be able to deliver the above, regular training and retraining is paramount. The point here for leaders is that acquiring continuous knowledge makes them competent and compelling.

Model the way. These crew members lead the way. Leaders set examples for others to follow. They not only tell us what to do. They show us how to do it. Leaders must model the ways for others to follow.

The principle of Respect. The crew command respect for what they do. They perform their duties with poise, confident and authority. As a result, people do respect them for what they do. Effective leaders must command the respect of the people before they influence them.

All the above points are some of the leadership lessons I have learnt from cabin crews. As leaders, we must deliberately fasten our seat belts since we are on a leadership journey. Leaders who do not want to do this cannot travel, when they stop traveling, they stop leading! I encourage you to continue to take the journey while seeing things in different perspectives. Most importantly, we must use the acquired awareness around us like those mentioned above to influence and ultimately make the world a better place.
What other leadership lessons do you recognise when you see these air cabin crew? Please feel free to leave your comments.

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Fasten Your Own Seat Belt!

by Niyi Adebayo time to read: 18 min
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