I haven’t blogged in awhile, so it’s a shame that something like this would drive my fingers to the keyboard.
Someone I know very well recently applied to be the Chief Pilot for the flight department of a Fortune 100 company in the northeast. This flight department has been plagued by strife and issues in the last several years. A new vice-president for flight operations and director were installed about two years ago to bring some necessary changes to the place, but while they had some great ideas for reform, they replaced too many of the “old guard” with new hires who came from backgrounds outside of corporate aviation and had no experience with international operations. The resulting strife led the CEO to fire the leadership of the department and look to hire replacements. The search for a new director lasted several months and oddly enough, the director chosen (after several people refused the job) had virtually no international experience and came from a fractional background. One of his first acts was to replace one of his management personnel, in this case the manager of flight operations/dispatch, with one his cronies from his former place of employment. In his first few months of employment this new director has inspired dissension in the ranks of his people to the point that a pool currently exists among the pilots as to how long he will remain in the job.
So enter my friend and his application for the Chief Pilot position. The ad is placed and is responded to by a whopping 7 applicants, one of whom is my friend. In addition to his resume (which is extensive – he probably has a better range of leadership and Chief Pilot experience than 99% of the candidates out there), he submits a cover letter that is blunt about his leadership skills and his philosophy. ”If you want to unite your people and inspire them to change, I’m your guy,” my friend says. ”If you’re looking for a ‘yes man’ to maintain the status quo, I’m definitely not your guy.” He never receives a phone screening and is directly emailed an invitation to interview. Naively thinking he might actually have a shot at the position, my friend flies to the company’s corporate headquarters, interviews with the recruiter, the executive who has oversight responsibility for the department, the HR liaison for the department and finally with the director himself. The interview seems to go well and he is told that he’ll be given the results in approximately a week’s time.Read More