July 26, 2016

Like many of NBAA’s events, the association’s annual Leadership Conference offers career development opportunities to attendees – and not just during the annual three-day event.

Business aviation professionals can continue to develop and hone their leadership skills on an ongoing basis in several ways. For example, 2016 Leadership Conference attendees were given two best-selling books to take home, courtesy of Duncan Aviation. The Martian, by Andy Weir, and The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown, teach valuable lessons about leadership, teamwork and perseverance.

Though the majority of The Martian takes place on another planet, the novel has down-to-earth applications for business aviation leaders. In the book, astronaut Mark Watney is stranded on Mars and must work with a NASA team that is millions of miles away in order for him to return home safely.

While NBAA members are unlikely to find themselves stranded on Mars, Steve Gade, vice president of business development, marketing and aircraft sales for Duncan Aviation, said the book demonstrates the importance of innovation, collaboration and positivity. These three traits, Gade says, are “fundamental aspects of creating a thriving organizational culture.”

The Boys in the Boat is the true story of how the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team, a working-class group of men competing in an upper-class sport, became unlikely gold medalists at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The lessons on teamwork are more overt, yet still applicable for business aviation professionals.

“An eight-man rowing crew is the epitome of a highly functioning team,” says Gade. Like a rowing crew, employees are a team. “Find your team’s swing and nurture it, as it will allow maximum efficiency, productivity and satisfaction,” Gade says.

Leadership Conference attendees may share their thoughts on these books and other leadership lessons throughout the year on the Business Aviation Leadership LinkedIn group, established by members of NBAA’s Business Aviation Management Committee. Association members are also encouraged to follow NBAA LinkedIn page for operational, regulatory and legislative updates of interest to the business aviation community.

Learn more about the NBAA Leadership Conference, set for Feb. 26 to 28, 2018.