airspeed is LIFE… how to lead & thrive in chaos

It has been a long two years since I’ve visited my own website, but I’m back with fire and enthusiasm at all time highs. Luckily for everyone, I’ve also picked up some wisdom along the way that I’m exhilarated to share with you.

I’ve miraculously transitioned from a homeless midnight rambler to a leadership teacher if you can believe that, and I’ve compiled a few things I think might help you in your mission to lead & thrive in this intensely chaotic Era of the Corona.

First on-deck is mindset; I heard a quote the other day I just love, and it goes a little like this ‘the ordinary person sees everything as a blessing or a curse, where the WARRIOR sees all as a CHALLENGE.’

This boring civilian life just got WAY more interesting, and this, my friends, is what we were made for. Time to turn and fight at the gnarly merge of old unresolved emotions, time for us to mix it up heads-up vs. the deadly wingmen of fear + internal resistance, so that we can prep for superhero time. It is time for us to use our unique skills to help teammates who need us the most.

If you are strong, you must lend your strength, and if you are a leader, you MUST lead. Here’s a framework you might find helpful to increase focus, so you can increase your own positive impact:

airspeed is LIFE sketch March 2020: how to lead + thrive in CHAOS

Dude… wtf is this?

Yeah I know, I know, this is how my brain works; I get enough grief about it already, so just stay on my wing for a few more paragraphs, it just might be exactly what you need right now.

“L” for lifelong learning. Do you have the courage to be authentically yourself, AND ready to absorb the tough feedback you need to win?

“I” for innovation. They say the best rule-breakers are the ones who know the rules intimately. Learn from others, then BREAK ALL THE RULES. Create, dangerously, with no fear of failure. The greatest ideas start off as delicate little hatchlings; so challenge all of your assumptions and self-limiting beliefs, unleash your Einstein-endorsed* intuition, and give your creativity the gift of limitless imagination.

“F” for flexibility. Old school warrior Genghis Khan was always going on and on about his principle of ‘tulugma,’ which loosely translated means the ‘strongest part of any system is it’s most FLEXIBLE part.’ Damn, I’m getting goosebumps. Still true today. Be ready for anything, at any time, just like flying fighters on the stormy ocean, or surfing the ever-changing waves. Regardless of your EXPECTATIONS, and without attachment to any outcomes. You’re good with it all, because you have confidence in your resourcefulness… you’re gonna figure it out, so chill.

“E” for empathy. Surprise, surprise, what are combat fighter pilots doing talking about empathy anyway? Isn’t this just for hand-holdy, over-sympathetic leaders who don’t get anything done? Nope. The finest leaders mine the simplistic sounding (but infinitely powerful) genius of the word “AND”, and reject the idea -crushing word “OR” to maximize their influence. You can love your people, and love yourself, AND still drive everyone forward with a relentless push to be the best.

Airspeed is LIFE. This squadron expression encapsulated a deep written-in-blood wisdom that applies perfectly to right now. If you’re flying down low and you lose both engines, you can trade airspeed for altitude… and steal precious seconds back to relight your engines, or eject safely.

These LIFE principles can give you desperately needed momentum, can keep you ahead of the curve, can provide you a way forward when not many see a path to victory. The choice, as always, is yours. I hope this helps you in your fight; with love and respect, good hunting my friend.

[BONUS QUOTES vaguely referred to above:]

  1. Einstein said: “Build your intuition. The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the GIFT.”
  2. From the Servant as Leader by Greenleaf: “Great leaders… may have gruff, demanding, uncompromising exteriors. But deep down inside the great ones have empathy and an unqualified acceptance of the persons who go with their leadership.”