Feb. 23, 2021

Changes in the economy, expanding passenger needs and other challenges were already keeping business aviation professionals on their toes before the global pandemic hit. COVID-19 only added to the challenges of an incredibly fast-paced, ever-changing industry.

How do you adapt to an ever-changing environment? Robyn Benincasa, a world-champion adventure racer, shared team-building tips to help attendees not only endure in a fast-paced environment, but thrive in challenging times through a number of awe-inspiring personal stories from her career.

The first secret to success is to focus on the team as one, not on the individuals in the team, she said. Next, she added, hope of success is infinitely more motivating than fear of failure.

Benincasa told the audience to consider where your brain goes to “hibernate.” Do you “stew” in your worries? Instead, look for creative solutions, which Benincasa explained through a story in which kayak paddles used in a canoe led her team to a victory.

“Focus on the comeback, not the setback,” said Benincasa, who is also the co-founder of Project Athena, which helps survivors of medical or traumatic challenges to reach new goals and achieve adventurous dreams.

Choose Progress Over Perfection

Look for new resources and new people to add new perspective, she advised. Be prepared to take opportunities when they arise by being courageous enough to accept the opportunity.

Embrace the S.U.K

Don’t let little distractions stand in your way, said Benincasa. In one race she recalled, two teams lost enough team members due to injury that a U.S. team and a UK team had to pair up to finish the race, leading to – U.-S.U.K.

Embrace the S.U.K. Laugh with your team. Enjoy each other as you face challenges.

Be a ‘We’ Thinker

Benincasa encouraged attendees to internalize the African proverb, “If you want to go fast, you can go alone. If you want to go far, you have to go together.”

Use your team – not just within your organization but throughout the industry. Look to your colleagues, NBAA and other resources to help your organization succeed.

Work to “suffer equally,” she said. Distribute the load in the way that allows the team to success, taking advantage of each team members’ best qualities, so no one is ever left behind.

Leave Your Ego at the Start Line

“Your ego is the biggest weight you carry with you,” said Benincasa, encouraging attendees to leave their egos behind.

Finally, Benincasa closed with the following advice:

“May you always have such huge, crazy, hairy goals that you could never accomplish them alone.”

Review a roadmap for success. (PDF)