“Many of us have an intense desire to take bold new action in our lives but never do for fear of failure. We are essentially pouring on the power with the brakes still applied. Consciously or subconsciously, we sabotage our success by living with our foot on the brakes. Releasing those brakes and simply going for it is how we grow in our personal and professional relationships.”
– Lt.Col. Rob WaldmanIf you are wondering what this book is about, you don’t have to look much further than the tag line of this inspiring book which says – Lead with courage, build trusting partnerships and reach new heights in business. The author Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman, MBA, is a former decorated U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, sales manager, and professional leadership speaker.

I started reading this book some time back and every chapter had a “high flying” inspiration to it. It made me pause and think about how similar were the situations faced by this person in the cockpit talking about his fears and motivation to that of someone at a workplace or in a leadership position. For instance consider this piece from the book:

“In order for it to accelerate and remain airborne, the F-16 must overcome any opposition to lift. This opposition is any aerodynamic force that resists the forward or upward motion of the jet and is known as drag. Every flight of every aircraft is an ongoing battle between the forces of lift and drag.
Fighter pilots have to deal with two kinds of drag: induced drag and parasite drag. Induced drag is a natural byproduct of lift and is considered a “good drag”, caused by the shape of the aircraft..
Parasite drag is the opposite. It battles against the good drag, slowing the aircraft and hampering maneuverability.
No matter how skilled or motivated you are, you’re always going to have some degree of both parasite drag and induced drag in your life. And just like a fighter pilot, you must manage it and not let it hold you back from accomplishing your mission.”

I sure did get to learn new “air force terminology” and gained quite a bit knowledge on how fighter pilot gains new heights.. but it all applied so well to our “civilian” lives. Some interesting story telling and motivational incidents in this fighter pilot’s life connect with you immediately. Whether you want to ace the next business contract, deal with new customers or just get along with your co-workers, you’re sure to find some impressive tips and action item to wing it all!

Watch the author’s interview on CNN here:

Waldman shares a message that is both human and business critical: we all must overcome the missiles of adversity and change and we can’t do it alone. He reveals how the same steadfast interdependence of wingmen in combat is necessary to transform relationships with colleagues, co-workers, and friends into interdependent partners for success.
Through compelling, real world stories, Waldo movingly describes how his wingmen helped him take action despite his fear of combat and a life-long battle with claustrophobia by teaching him lessons that work in a cockpit as well in a cubicle. These include:

  • Check Six – When wingmen cross check each other’s blind spots, they promote mutual support and build mission critical trust in times of high stress and adversity.
  • Chair Fly – By briefing every mission with your team and rehearsing emergencies and unexpected “what if’s,” you won’t be caught unprepared. Preparation leads to power.
  • Integrity First – Integrity is the #1 core value in the military. It not only means telling the truth and honoring your word, but also admitting when you’ve made a mistake.
  • Walk the Flight Line – Leaders must reach out to the wingmen that support the overall mission. By connecting on a personal and professional level, you build more loyal, committed teammates.
  • Break Right – Mission critical feedback is vital for success. To build trust with your wingmen, you must be willing to call out the missile launches to your wingmen and communicate effectively.

Whether you are a seasoned executive, entrepreneur, or new to the business world, creating a work environment based on mutual support and trust is crucial. Never Fly Solo is a flight plan for success that will help you earn your wings as a high performance leader and help you soar to new heights.

Read more about it on the book’s website. You can get this book at Amazon.

(Please Note: I have not been paid to write this review, it is a sincere opinion and my wish to present the readers of this blog to get to know good books that bring value to day to day work life and overall improve our strengths)