Chart the Course

aeronautical chartThe aeronautical chart is the most important navigation tool that a pilot has. It contains an enormous amount of information. The whole process of planning a cross-country flight, from selecting a destination to drawing a line on the map to computing magnetic headings, fuel flows, and ground speeds, are all annotated on the chart. The pilot also references the chart in flight. He applies the clock-map-ground technique to determine aircraft position relative to the charted course, and he corrects back to course accordingly. After the flight, the information noted on the chart serves as a source of details for debriefing and logbook entries. To adequately describe all of the steps taken in planning, execution, and validation would take thousands of words, so the pilot’s map certainly illustrates the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words.

Leadership is the most important tool that we have, as aviators, entrepreneurs, and engineers. It is the most important skill, the most valuable resource, and the most critical technique in aviation, business, and technical management. When resources are scarce, funding has been cut, and time is in high demand but low supply, leadership is the the asset that we Multiply to increase effectiveness and stretch to make ends meet.

Leaders chart the course. Here are three critical steps in that process:
1. Select a destination — develop a purpose or vision statement
2. Map out the route — outline the steps and schedule necessary to achieve your goal
3. Determine your position and make course corrections — hold yourself and the team accountable



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