With the exception of the Wright brothers, almost every pilot has had an instructor pilot to teach them to takeoff, fly, and land an airplane properly. Professionally, we also need to have a guide – an instructor pilot.

Many companies establish ‘mentor’ programs to move the individuals they have identified with promising attributes to higher levels within the organization. If you are not identified as one of these ‘chosen’ individuals or if your organization doesn’t offer such a program, then don’t despair. Take the initiative! Go out and find yourself a guide. It will be much easier to gain the knowledge you need to move to the next level with your instructor pilot. Having a guide allows you to spend your energy learning the correct things, not just learning from your own mistakes.

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine featured an article years ago wherein George Leonard (an author) did a study of successful people and found they had five things in common: 1) practice, 2) get a guide, 3) surrender to their passion, 4) take risks, and 5) visualize the outcome.

I have thought about these five attributes over the last several years. As a matter of fact, I have them posted on the bulletin board right in front of my desk and look at them every day. After much thought, watching, and talking to successful people I believe these five attributes are a formula for success that we should all follow.

Who do you know in your industry that has been where you want to go? What aspects would you like to address with an experienced guide?

About Kevin Sweeney

Lt. Colonel Kevin Sweeney is the only pilot to have landed a plane with both engines blown off the left wing during a night combat mission in Desert Storm. Follow Kevin on twitter @TheLtColonel or book Kevin to speak at your event by contacting our office.