What a Blue Angel Can Teach You

The world’s most famous aerial acrobatics team is the Blue Angels.

For decades they have thrilled audiences worldwide with their death defying flying tricks – these guys have balls the size of planets.

But look a little closer at how they run their squad and you’ll see the Blue Angels aren’t just daring pilots.

They are experts at self improvement as well.

Even after 64 years of air shows, after each and every performance the pilots meet and review every aspect of their performance.

Any area that wasn’t absolutely perfect is discussed openly. Nobody is ranked higher than others in the review room.

The Blue Angels understand that they can’t be the best in the world unless they review each performance.  Every single time.

And what’s true for flying is true for business.

Yet very few senior executives regularly review their performance – after meetings, sales presentations, speeches or brainstorms.

Usually, they just get on with the next task.

This may give them the feeling that they are using their time wisely, but they are actually ensuring they do not perform at the optimum level.

The only way we can be truly excellent is to rigorously evaluate what we have done – immediately after we have done it, while it’s fresh in our mind.

Asking ourselves what did I do well? What could I have done better?

How could I improve?

Then committing to making the necessary changes.

This one technique alone is enough to totally transform the standard at which you work.

Once you get into the habit of a quick review after each performance (3 minutes is usually enough) you will be amazed at how much better you do things.

You may not be a jet pilot, but you can still perform like one.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

7 thoughts on “What a Blue Angel Can Teach You

  1. Timely post Mr Reynolds! Doing just that as I embark on my speaking career… each one gets that bit better.

  2. Thanks Siimon.
    After each of my last two client calls I assessed myself, picked out the flaws in my performance and made mental notes on how/where to make improvements. It can be so easy to become complacent in the everyday tasks that we have been doing for years.
    A good call – thanks.

  3. The Blue Angels kaizen practice seems to be "standard practice" in the best military teams, which may or may not surprise business people who may think the military can be stodgy at times. But military operations need to balance performance and high risk, and continuous learning is a real must — after each "mission"/project is completed.

    The book which got me interested in this perspective is [u]Flawless Execution[/u] by James Murphy. The associated business that Murphy runs to help businesses in such "military thinking" is called [u]Afterburner[/u] (www.afterburner.com).

    I agree with Siimon that very often indeed businesses and executives/people/teams rush from task to task, but rarely review what they had just completed. We all need to do more of this.

  4. It’s an intriguing approach. I ordinarily stumble upon ordinary thoughts on the theme but yours it’s written in a pretty special way. Sure enough, I will revisit your website for additional information.

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