Staying informed, exploring different perspectives and sustaining constructive dialogue among colleagues are all things a professional does. In this section, you’ll find links to articles and online resources that can help advance your professionalism initiatives. Consider this a “go-to” source, but not the only one.

As you encounter professionalism articles and resources elsewhere that might benefit business aviation professionals, share them with the NBAA Safety Committee so they can be added to this growing resource library.

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Links of Interest

Below is a starter list of professionalism resources. All entries are vetted and approved by the NBAA Safety Committee. Check back soon as this list will grow.


Procedural Non-Compliance: Learning the Markers and Mitigating the Risks

NBAA’s Safety Committee has developed a resource on procedural non-compliance to help flight crews recognize and correct unprofessional behavior before it leads to a deviation from standard operating procedures.
Review the safety resource…

NTSB Safety Compass: The Official Blog of the NTSB Chairman

The NTSB chairman’s blog includes articles on professionalism and ethics.
Read the blog…

York College Center for Professional Excellence National Professionalism Survey

From the 2015 introduction: “Since 2010, York College of Pennsylvania’s Center for Professional Excellence has conducted a national study on some aspect of professionalism in recent college graduates. A common theme has been professionalism in the workplace. Previous research has surveyed human services professionals, managers, college professors, career development personnel at colleges, and students. This year, recent college graduates were surveyed to see how they perceive professionalism in the workplace.”
Read the studies…

“Parallel Parking in the Arctic Circle”

Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times
March 29, 2014

While this article does not focus on aviation, its conclusion provides insight into some drivers and attributes of a culture of professionalism.
Read the article…

Meeting the Ethical Challenges of Leadership: Casting Light or Shadow

Craig E. Johnson, SAGE Publications, Inc.: 2013

From the Amazon description: “[This] Fifth Edition identifies the unique ethical demands of leadership and equips readers to meet these challenges. … [A]uthor Craig E. Johnson takes an interdisciplinary approach to leadership ethics while blending research and theory with practical application. This unique text offers a realistic look at the “dark side of leadership”— metaphors of shadow and light are woven throughout the text as a creative pedagogical tool—and promotes ethical decision-making and action through skill development, self-assessment, and application exercises.”
Order from Amazon.

“Flight Crew Leadership”

Antonio I. Cortés, Ph.D., Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Jan. 2011

This essay is used in upgrade training by a couple of airlines and touches on ways to promote professionalism. From the abstract: “The efficiency and safety of aircraft operations can be traced back to the use of influence by leaders to affect the behavior and attitude of subordinates.”
Read the essay… (3.4 MB, PDF)

Going Pro: The Deliberate Practice of Professionalism

Dr. Tony Kern, Pygmy Books: 2011

From the Amazon description: “Going Pro provides a clear definition and pathway to “extreme professionalism” for individuals and organizations. Dr. Tony Kern introduces the revolutionary concept of Level III professionalism and provides a detailed improvement path with self-assessments and action steps throughout.”
Order from Amazon.

“Paradoxes of professionalism and error in complex systems”

Matthew C. Holtman, Journal of Biomedical Informatics
June 2011

From the abstract: “Professionalism is at the heart of risk management in complex, dangerous work such as medicine, aviation, and military operations. Professionalism is closely connected to expertise and is therefore closely connected to the ability to prevent and mitigate errors. But there are two paradoxes in this connection…I argue that the kind of professionalism that can prevent errors is rooted in organizational practices that reduce the social separation between professional groups and promote the maintenance of adequate margins of safety. This requires the acceptance of safety as a central value that is at least as important as productivity.”
Read the article…

Learning Leadership: Applying Supersonic Jet Flying Principles to Business and Life

Bill Hensley and Colleen Hensley, Greenleaf Book Group: 2011

From the Amazon description: “Through the actions of fictional student pilots and instructors, the authors demonstrate the leadership skills that they’ve seen through decades of firsthand experience, translated from the cockpit to the business world. … Each chapter ends in a debrief that distills the lessons from the previous pages and confronts the reader with perspective changing questions.”
Order from Amazon.