I’d be a lousy pilot

Sitting behind the pilot on a tiny plane today, I was reminded how important, difficult and tedious this job is.

Pilots have to get it right every time. They have to follow a myriad of procedures. They must be calm and focused and consistent, and yes, boring. No one wants to notice the pilot.

Good pilots probably do very well in job interviews–and not just for pilot jobs. They have many of the traits that hiring managers look for. They follow instructions with an eye on detail. They don’t fail (if they did, they probably wouldn’t be at the interview). They show up on time.

I’m grateful there are pilots. I’m also glad I’m not one.

Here’s the thing: I think (outside of the airline business, of course) that our need for pilots is diminishing, and rapidly. I think the value add of a person who carefully follows instructions and procedures keeps going down. I think the fact that pilots would do well in a job interview at your organization means your organization probably should change the way interviews get done.

We don’t need pilots. We need instigators and navigators, rabble rousers and innovators. People who can’t follow a checklist to save their life, but invent the future every day.