My Newest Thought Regarding Sullenberger, US Air Flight 1549, And Leadership

If time had stopped for Captain Chesley Sullenberger on the day before the emergency landing in the Hudson River, you might have noticed something that’s gotten lost in the all the hoopla of this amazing event.

Sullenberger was quite disgruntled with the airline industry. Corporate restructuring, cut-backs, and down-sizing had all affected the quality of piloting, in his view. He opposed many of these changes. Sullenberger had believed for some time prior to his remarkable experience that piloting a large passenger airliner was not what it used to be, not why he had become a pilot in the first place.

And yet, as we know, despite his unhappy outlook on the airline industry, Sullenberger accomplished incredible feats in the early morning over downtown New York.

My point for you is this–each of us has a long and short attitude. The long attitude is your fundamental ethic of work, serving, and contribution to the people around you. The short attitude is the everyday stuff, the changes in specific policies and practices that more often than not, irritate and frustrate and aggravate you.

Which is dominant in your leadership–the long attitude or the short attitude? Or has one morphed into the other?