Thursday, February 21, 2013

Enthusiasm vs. Experience

One day a US Air Force C-141 cargo plane was lumbering across the sky over the Pacific Ocean.  It was on its way to a remote Air Force Base in the Philippines.  A small jet fighter aircraft came from out of nowhere, streaking across the sky.  The young jet jockey wanted to show off his flying skills for his cargo hauling colleagues.

The young pilot, came on the radio and said to the transport pilot, "Watch this!" 

Immediately, the jet went into a steep climb, soaring up several thousand feet - then it nosed down and did a series of spectacular barrel rolls. After leveling off in front of the cargo plane, the pilot ignited his afterburners and shot across the horizon creating a loud sonic boom.  When he finally returned alongside the transport he asked, "Well, what did you think of that?"

The C-141 pilot said, "Very impressive." 

"Well old man, show me what you can do with that garbage bucket you are flying."

"Okay, watch this", said the cargo pilot!  

The jet jockey tried his best to maintain his air speed alongside the cargo plane and waited. For over eight minutes, the cargo plane rambled along with nothing happening.  Then the pilot came on the air and said, "Well son, what did you think of that?"

Puzzled, the young Lieutenant asked, "What the heck did you do?"

The seasoned MAC pilot said, "Well, let’s see.  First, I took off my seat harness; then I stood up, stretched my legs, walked to the back of the plane, said hi to all the crew members, picked up an updated weather forecast, went to the latrine, washed my face, combed my hair, poured a cup of coffee and picked up a cinnamon roll in the galley. 

I made it back to the cockpit am now seated back behind the controls enjoying a cup of coffee and a delicious roll."

The moral to this story, which I believe every young employee and aspiring leader should remember, is:

When one is young and inexperienced - speed and flash are the preferred methods to get a job done; however, as one matures and acquires wisdom - comfort and dullness are generally the best way to perform most jobs.