By traditional measure my first professional mentor was a failure. Continue reading
Author Archives: acmdowding
“V” is Not Always for Victory
So you are executing flawlessly, but are you doing the right things?
After the first World War, the fledgling Royal Air Force struggled to prove its worth as an independent service. Continue reading
The Team that Plays Together Stays Together
To succeed under pressure we have to trust.
Every day brings the same routine for the Royal Air Force’s pilots. Wait. Stare at magazines, but never turn the pages. Watch the hands twitch around the clock face.
As the morning wears on the pilots think, “It’s almost too late, the Germans won’t be coming.” Continue reading
Sticking to Your Guns
Leaders make mistakes too.
In the early days of WWII, the Royal Air Force lost almost twenty-five percent of their Hurricane fighters in combat over France. Despite their tenacity, the RAF pilots were ineffective when they engaged the Luftwaffe. Continue reading
Coming Up Short
Can we earn our employee’s respect through critical feedback?
Eighteen thousand feet above the Isle of Wight, enemy German planes swarming around him, George Westlake’s engine went silent. Continue reading
Does productivity equal performance?
During the Battle of Britain England’s secret weapon was the Dowding System, and its heart was the Filter Room. Continue reading
Adding Color to History
The Mahogany Bomber
Are we leading our teams from behind our desks?
Squadron Leader Don MacDonell’s pilots had a thirty minute release. The weather was deteriorating and Group command didn’t want them sitting in their planes waiting for the skies to clear. The Germans wouldn’t fly in this weather. With the grey clouds scudding across the hills, they’d never be able to find their targets. Continue reading
Threat or Feint
Are we focusing on the right things?
September 15, 1940. It was 10:30 in the morning and ten miles from the French coast, off Cape Nez Griz, forty German planes were racing toward England. Continue reading