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Applying the principles of flying
supersonic jets to business and life.™

Tuesday, 19 October 2010 00:00

The Importance of Mastery

Written by  Bill Hensley
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Why is it important to be able to master something? Because it will change how you perceive yourself, even more than it will change how others perceive. And, a second benefit is Mastery is contagious. It goes along with the old adage of success breeds success.

In our books, we write extensively about Mastery of Performance. After years of seeking a way to articulate how extreme skills are mastered, we crafted something called the PEER Performance Model. I couldn’t do it justice in this brief format, but suffice it to say that its essence is combining simple elements, like Preparation, Smart Practice, and Evaluation. The result is a consistently repeatable process that will help you to make great inroads toward mastering any skill or task.  

One element of the PEER Performance Model involves something pilots call Chair Flying. Simply put, Chair Flying is practicing a given task in the most realistic setting you can create. For example, when learning the fly, students in military jet pilot training are known to don their flight suit, helmet, and gloves, to practice cockpit procedures at home.  They methodically, and ritualistically, run through their checklists until they can’t do it any more, but then they do.  They have set the goal of mastery, because when they strap into a supersonic jet, not only their egos, but their lives depend on it. You can adopt the same mindset in anything that you do, professionally or personally. 

When people step onto an airliner, they do so with confidence in the fact that their pilots have mastered the are of flying. When someone consents to a surgical procedure, he/she is confident the surgeon has mastered the procedure about to be performed. There is no reason why you can’t work to achieve the same level of mastery that others at the peak of their professions have achieved. Chair Fly the important things in your life and you’ll be amazed at the level of success that is within you grasp.

Last modified on Sunday, 02 January 2011 20:51

Bill Hensley

Bill is the co-founder of Pilot Leadership, an organization that addresses all aspects of both personal and business leadership. He flew supersonic jets in the military and  commercial airliners in the civilian world. After leaving the cockpit, he bacame an author, speaker, and entrepreneur. He is the author of The Pilot--Learning Leadership, and Success Simplified (with Dr. Stephen Covey).

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