“Imagine what the world would be like if people did their job, ran their business, and orchestrated their relationships as if their life depended on it. The story you are about to read will give you a view into that world, because it does exist. It’s the world of flying supersonic jets. In this book we tell a story of how a group of ordinary people do the extraordinary—earn their wings as supersonic jet pilots.”
So begins The Pilot—Learning Leadership,a breakout, character driven business book by Bill Hensley and Colleen Hensley that breathes new life into the principles of performance and leadership while also redefining followership. The Hensleys draw upon their background as former Air Force supersonic jet and commercial airline pilots, as well as their current successful businesses, to present a narrative that captures the excitement and intensity of jet pilot training while applying cockpit principles to business. If Stephen Covey’s Principle Centered Leadership were flown through a 10,000-foot loop at 500 knots, it would have read like The Pilot -- Learning Leadership!
For sixteen tight, compelling chapters, the authors invite readers into one of the most rigorous training experiences on earth: the world of Air Force supersonic jet pilot training. In the fictionalized narrative, instructors and student pilots alike proceed through the final six months of a fifty-two week program of training that tests every skill, nerve, character and leadership quality. Told with an expertise that only an insider can provide, The Pilot -- Learning Leadership bears out the realities of jet pilot training. You'll have a front-seat view of a year-long crucible that includes: the exhilaration of flying at the speed of sound and performing air show acrobatics; conflicts with instructors and fellow student pilots; tragic accidents; and a daily routine long on precision and accountability, and short on sleep and free time. Through key characters Jack Logan, Neil Williamson, Carley “Dublin” Macfadden, Dewey “Mace” Clark, Major Herrera, and Captain Buford, The Pilot -- Learning Leadership also highlights the leadership and followership skills that pilots who earn their wings carry with them well beyond their years in the cockpit.
Never before have pilots opened up the cockpit to readers as the Hensleys do. Never before have authors distilled business principles with the precision of experienced aviators. Never before has a female jet pilot coauthored a business book with such impact potential!
In addition to the strong narrative—a compelling story, based on personal experience—the authors deliver the coup de grace: chapter debriefs. These provide in-depth analyses of what the characters are experiencing, as well as action plans for how the reader can implement newly learned skills in their own business/life immediately. By themselves, the debriefs create a concise guidebook with as much potential to generate interest in leadership as Rich Dad Poor Dad created an interest in finance.
The expertise of the authors cannot be understated. The Hensleys write from direct experience both inside and outside the cockpit. From the world of supersonic flying, they transitioned into commercial aviation, logging tens of thousands of hours flying jets before moving into the world of business where they routinely negotiate multi-million dollar deals. Every word of The Pilot -- Learning Leaderhsip was put through their exacting, former Air Force aviator’s crucible of precision and accountability.
As a result of the years spent writing and researching The Pilot -- Learning Leadership, the concept of Pilot Leadership was born. It goes beyond the book and encompasses an entire philosophy of studying, speaking about, and pealing back layer after layer of Leadership, Mastery of Performance, and a dynamic idea called Mach One Followership. The journey is nerver-ending. We invite you to strap in, hold on, and enjoy the ride!