Why Harrison Ford Survived Plane Crash

Harrison Ford executed a brilliant landing on Penmar Golf Course in Venice, California. The cause of the mishap is not yet known but he did exactly the right thing in the way he managed the landing in a highly populated area. He has been hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries and should make a full recovery.

The most likely cause of the accident is mechanical failure with his WWII aircraft but this is not the first plane crash he has experienced. He previously survived forced landings back in 1999 and 2000. The first was in Lincoln, Nebraska and the second also in California but well outside Los Angeles. Twitter is going nuts and we're all pulling for him. He is a brave man and obviously a talented pilot:

My flying instructor taught me that confidence is usually the feeling you have just before you understand the situation, and also that you start your flying career with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience... the trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck. I think Harrison Ford now has a full bag of experience, especially when you combine all of his experience with a float plane crash in Six days and Seven Nights, biplane stunts in Indiana Jones, and death defying maneuvers in the Millennium Falcon.

Seriously, he knows that any landing you walk away from is a good one. That's what my father taught me when I went Hans Solo for first time in a single seat sports aircraft. Keep the aircraft flying all the way to the ground regardless of terrain; never let it stall. Harrison Ford's plane is probably a write-off but he walked away, just like I did on my plane crash pictured below. I had an engine failure above a pine forest and the link above will take you to the full account.

Here are 20 RULES OF THE AIR (also for leadership on the ground and in the boardroom) which I'm sure Harrison Ford would attest to:

  1. Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

  2. Good judgment comes from experience. Unfortunately, most experience usually comes from bad judgment.

  3. You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.

  4. Confidence is usually the feeling you have just before you understand the situation.

  5. Keep looking around. There's always something you've missed – inside and outside.

  6. Every take-off is optional. Every landing is mandatory. It's always better to be down here wishing you were up there, than up there wishing you were down here. You cannot control prevailing conditions.

  7. Never let an aircraft take you somewhere your brain didn't get to five minutes earlier.

  8. The ONLY time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.

  9. Both the altitude above you and the runway behind you are of no use at all.

  10. Stay out of clouds. The silver lining everyone keeps talking about might be another airplane. Reliable sources also report that mountains have been known to hide in clouds.

  11. When in doubt, maintain your altitude. No one has ever collided with the sky.

  12. The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival. Large angle of arrival, small probability of survival and vice-versa.

  13. A 'good' landing is one from which you can walk away. A 'great' landing is one after which they can use the plane again.

  14. There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.

  15. Helicopters can't fly; they're just so ugly that the earth repels them. The dictionary should define the word ‘helicopter’ as ‘mechanical contradiction’.

  16. If all you can see out of the window is ground that's going round and round and all you can hear is commotion coming from the passenger compartment, things are not at all as they should be.

  17. Always try to keep the number of landings you make equal to the number of take offs you've made.

  18. In the ongoing battle between objects made of aluminum going hundreds of miles per hour and the ground going zero miles per hour, the ground has yet to lose.

  19. Remember, gravity is not just a good idea – it's the law, and not subject to repeal.

  20. There are old pilots and there are bold pilots. There are however no old bold pilots.

I’ve come to understand that the outcomes we experience in the air and in life are largely determined by the way we think, feel and act. Bad luck is often not that at all. Every profession has an ethos, a code; and a tried and true set of beliefs and values that drive it forward. There is no better example of leadership excellence in aviation than Captain Richard de Crespigny and the flight crew of QF32. They embodied the very best of leadership to save lives when things went wrong on the largest commercial airliner in the world.

In my own time as a private pilot, there were truisms I embraced: All the runway behind you is of no use at all (always take the time to taxi all the way to the end to provide as much runway in front of you as possible. If you have an engine problem, you’ll be able to abort or land more safely). You only have too much fuel on board if you’re on fire (always have maximum reserves in case you get lost, the head-wind is stronger than anticipated or the weather turns bad and you have to find an alternate field).

If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like' and ‘share’ buttons below. This article was originally published in LinkedIn here where you can comment. Also follow the award winning LinkedIn blog here or visit Tony’s leadership blog at his keynote speaker website:

Main image photo by Flickr: El Hormiguero

10 Crazy Cooky Concoctions To Step Up Your Motivation Game

1) Listen to motivational speakers on your way to work. The car is the ultimate classroom.

2) Read two hours a day, one hour sales related and the other non-sales. TV is a definite NO NO, YouTube has awesome sales channels.

3) Spend one hour a week with a mentor, perhaps from the other side of the world.

4) Exercise even if it's just walks around the office meeting new people.

5) Write daily and work on being interesting and quirky.

6) Flex your curiosity muscle. It will grow and you will become a cosmic filter of everything awesome!

7) Think positively, your attitude determines your altitude. This is the greatest discipline to habitualize and master.

8) Become a No-Limit person, think bigger and aim higher.

9) Network and reach out to your favorite sales thought leaders and authors.

10) Do at least one thing that scares you. Most likely this is picking up the phone and calling the client who could change your stars!

If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like' and ‘share’ buttons below. This article was originally published in LinkedIn here where you can comment. Also follow the award winning LinkedIn blog here or visit Tony’s leadership blog at his keynote speaker website:

 Main image photo by Flickr: Jens karlsson

The One Anomalistic Trait to Scout Out When Hiring Sales Falcons

Courage? Sticktoitiveness? Testicularity? Tenacity? Empathy? Resiliency? Amiability? Challengery? Strategery? Positivity? Attitudidinality? And the winner is...

D. None of the above.

Now before I answer this 64 million dollar question, I will quote Calvin Coolidge and Theodore Roosevelt:

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
It is not the critic who counts; not the [hu]man who points out how the strong [hu]man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the [hu]man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if (s)he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his/her place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

My answer in 2015 with the axis of evil being commoditization, complexity and infinite cloud-based competition is... Survey says!:

The ability to develop sound business acumen in order to analyze businesses effectively and generate profound new insights that help customers reframe and visualize critical aspects of their business in novel, new and disruptive ways.
In a word: Insightfulness

Let's unpack this bold statement. No matter how much of a winning personality, positive attitude, team player and willingness to work hard would traditionally give a field salesperson an edge prior to 2010, it's unlikely to even land a meeting circa 2020. Why? Without a provocative insight to crowbar open the door against 300 extremely similar messages in a CXOs inbox, you're toast! The days of Dale Carnegie are a given. This is like touch-typing skills, it's no longer a profession unto itself, a certain level of computer literacy is simply expected as table stakes. Placing Microsoft Excel or Word on your CV is expected and frankly, not even necessary.

If you master insightfulness, which is defined as the ability to analyze business models from an analytical financial level, to a strategic level and even a technology cusp level and synthesize these crystalline insights into tangible actions in a plan that a client can take to improve even incrementally, you will have a Herculean edge.

Even if you've ever been a victim of agism, or patently you are competing in this still discriminatory world of gender and cultural bias, even if you are a self-described Luddite, or introvert: this quality of insightfulness alone will ensure that you not only land opportunities, but that you rapidly transition to meeting with clients and riding the light beam of trusted advisor status.

You don't need an MBA to accomplish this level of insight. Remarkably, books on insight selling and challenger methods can often simply reaffirm the importance of this skill-set over and over again without necessarily giving you a concrete set of steps to actually do it. You need a treasure map to the fishing rod which is the insight generator and creativity within your own head. Don't discount a mastermind group that meets weekly just to brainstorm unique insights in an industry grown stale with cacophonous white papers declaring the winners and losers in quadrants.

To develop this acumen I would recommend books like Blue Ocean Strategy and Bottom-Line Selling by Jack Malcolm where Jack stresses reading the balance sheet, gleaning insight from an annual report and ways to understand the true business situations customer's are facing from the corner office vantage point. Blue Ocean is a great way to leverage a strategic process called a strategy canvas to start thinking differently about unique and compelling value that is completely differentiated from the competition.

From a military strategy perspective, this is called outflanking. From a branding or Al Ries perspective, it's declaring a new market and being the self-proclaimed leader.

Other methods include First Principles thinking which Elon Musk is famous for and Design Centred Thinking. One great way to get here is to ask yourself consistently, "If placed in my customers shoes, how would I revolutionize their business model knowing what I know and extrapolating around the bend based on my unique experience in the channel?"

Studying disruptive innovation from Harvard Business Review, Geoffrey Moore of Crossing the Chasm, Steve Blank and Clayton Christensen essays may seem like the fodder of pedantic entrepreneurs but they're very much applicable to tuning your ability to see the world differently.

Building your insight acumen is not something that is typically trained on in a sales workshop where processes, scripts and question sets are drilled and rehearsed. How you sell, how you look at the world, how you approach business is your unique footprint on the ecosystem. This is the snowflake or prism of your mind that truly becomes your calling card over a long career inside an industry or even if you're brand new to a market or the market is white hot, it's the genesis of your personal brand.

The generally held idea is to assess your marketplace, become a subject matter expert (again, no advice as to how) and bring back insights to your prospects and clients in this way to in effect, chum the waters so the sharks bite. This is a traditional view but risks commoditization of even these insights. The top salespeople, the Falcons that are soaring past quota year after year, are actually advising clients at a high level on positive risks worth taking: hardware to the cloud, opex from costly capex, open source from closed, manual to automated, mobile computing paradigms, Internet of Things. Tectonic shifts. These technology megatrends that are rendering B2B environments a great deal more like B2C cannot be neglected.

I may be debated on this point. I think persistence is the old world standard. It's a given. Dale Carnegie to a tee is a must. It's the essence of beguiling, as Guy Kawasaki encourages.

But what's going to get you into the meeting? What's going to preference you in the RFI? As Ago Cluytens state: "Lead with value." I would say a heat-seeking key insight will stop them in their tracks.

If you can generate one unique insight, you can become a font of insights and become a resource for not just sound great ideas to satisfy the conservative spectrum of the audience, but big bold hairy moonshot ideas for those mobilizers and disruptors in the accounts.

Everyone is looking to be inspired and many are looking for a magic bullet. Strategic sales has become a collaborative process where those that lead with insight, help their prospects and clients unlock insight and build synergistic masterminds that spawn new realms of knowledge and innovation will rule the new world.

The modern sales falcon is indeed an anomaly. A merchant of insight, she alights on the air currents of fractal levels of technology singularity driven by insights only she can create and share.

If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like' and ‘share’ buttons below. This article was originally published in LinkedIn here where you can comment. Also follow the award winning LinkedIn blog here or visit Tony’s leadership blog at his keynote speaker website:

Main image photo by Flickr: Stefan Groen