In a previous life I was a Navy Pilot. Great life, great people to be around. People who were all doing great things around world flying off great big aircraft carriers. In an environment that complex and dangerous, you need to have teams of people working as one, or bad things begin to happen in large quantities.
The people onboard aircraft carriers are divided into two groups, those that make ship float and those that make planes fly. Those that make ship float are known as "ship's company", and those that make planes fly are with "the airwing". During one tour of duty, I was assigned to "airwing staff". The airwing staff coordinated activities of ten aircraft squadrons deployed aboard aircraft carrier. It was while working for our Airwing Commander, Captain Jerry Norris, that I would unknowingly learn what has to become my most valued rule as an entrepreneur.
Captain Norris was quite character. A fighter pilot with all fixings! Tall, handsome, and with enough confident charisma to handle any situation, be that in air, on land, or at sea. But truth of it is, none of eight officers on staff considered Captain Norris to be sharpest knife in drawer.
It wasn't that things were not going well for he or airwing. It just seemed strange that so simple and relaxed an individual could lead so effectively. You must understand that Captain Norris was in charge of operations of nearly 3000 men and almost 100 of most complex flying machines on planet. But fly we did, and did it well. Our airwing was often singled out for acts of excellence.
It was during a short visit in Cannes, France that Captain Norris was to give me my lesson. Like so many of life's lessons, lesson was unintended.
If there is one thing that flying fellows enjoy more than flying, it is telling of tales while ashore! And it seems nothing gets mind flowing like flow of beer. Our cup runneth over, as did our mouths!
The topic of evening turned to how smart each of us was compared to our fearless leader. We were even so bold as to believe that he was fearless because he simply did not understand what was going on around him. In fact, it was we who did not understand what was going on around us!