Wisdom From An Air Force Pilot (part 2)


"The three most useless things to a pilot are the air above you, the runway behind you, and the fuel that you didn't put in the tanks".  This quote speaks to the fact that leaders can't focus on what they  don't have, they have to deal with the things that they have.  For those who haven't thought much about the items in the quote they are all significant. 1) If I am having a problem in the airplane, like engine trouble or other equipment problems, if I am high enough, I have time to make decisions, 2) If I am taking off with a very heavy airplane it can often take the whole runway to gain enough speed to fly so the more runway you have ahead of you the better,  3) Large airplanes carry a lot of fuel to travel long distances but fuel weighs a lot a is expensive to carry if you don't need it so they usually fuel with enough for the planned flight and a reserve in case of a problem so if you find yourself in a bad spot and running out of fuel, that extra fuel would have been very nice to have indeed.

From a spiritual leadership perspective I think the parallel is that there is little value in thinking much about the things that we don't have.

1) It would could fall into 2 of the seven deadly sins; greed and envy

2) It is not helpful because you don't have them and they won't help you solve your current problem

3) It can lead to bitterness and anger that God hasn't provided for our needs

4) It distracts us from experiencing the presence, work, and word of God

Our perspective, the way we look at our adversity, has a profound impact on our ability to navigate them.  God desires us to seek him and his solutions not fretting about what we don't have.

John Hilliard

Leadership Connextions International