Friday, January 16, 2009

The Airbus 320... Now with Cockpit Big Enough for the Biggest Balls on the Planet

Autonomous power is seldom seen in America. Most things fall under committees. Checks and balances necessitate one group confirming (either approving or vetoing) the decisions of another. My woodworking is one of the few autonomous things left in our nation.

In my studio, I am the king. In my shop, I am the Lord.

Last night I discussed the power of airline pilots with my wife. I told how two weeks ago a couple of families were removed from a flight because the pilot didn’t like what they were talking about. That was it… game over… no discussion…. the decision of the pilot was law on that flight, and those folks were escorted off.

Likewise yesterday when Captain Chesley Sullenberger III, apparently faced the failure of both engines of his Airbus 320, he made the autonomous decision to put the plane into the Hudson River. There was no blue ribbon task force assembled. There were no focus groups consulted. Captain Sullenberger observed his situation, processed his alternatives, and had the cojones to follow the course he deemed appropriate. When I see that everyone walked away, I sit in judgment believing Captain Sullenberger did the right thing.

Leadership isn’t about pleasing people. Leadership is doing what has to be done, at the moment it needs to be done, and accepting responsibility for the decisions you make.

It’s easy to be a leader in my shop. The Monday morning quarterbacking from my dog Peyton isn’t all that nasty. It is a far more difficult position to be the leader of 150 folks on a plane. It is an unfairly brutal job to have the courage to lead 304 million Americans.

Regardless of the race, sex, or political affiliation of the person who sits in the Oval Office, he (and eventually she) deserves the respect of US citizens for having to call the ball daily on decisions that would make most of us curl up in a fetal position and cry for our Mommies.

4 comments:

renglebrecht said...

I waited two weeks for a new Blog and this is it?

...who is the leader of the Skiver home? Gail?

Jeff Skiver said...

"waited two weeks"....

Well, I waited 3 years for a new kidney, and when it finally showed up it took me out of commission for a couple of weeks.

I am sorry for offending you.

In fact since I no longer will be spending two hours a day in deep thought during Dialysis, the quality of the blog is probably going to go right down the pisser.

Anonymous said...

seriously? (not sure when your comments are serious or not) If you have just received a kidney, then congrats and am hoping that the blog does not suffer, but if it does in the future, then glad to see it went downhill for a worthy reason, you getting more of your life back.

Jeff Skiver said...

OK... you got me... I lied.

I apologize to anyone with actual kidney problems. (I didn't mean to make light of it. I just don't like it when I get called out for having no updates).

The truth is I have been so busy sending bitch slap emails to realtors and bankers over the last two weeks (as we attempt to close on our new house) that I haven't had time (or inspiration) to write anything.

Then, I know the Airbus pilot thing is garbage. It's not blog worthy, but I caved into pressure and put something out there. Besides it struck a chord with me because I visited GE Aircraft Engines in Evendale, OH when I was in college and that is where I learned about bird ingestion.

Also, I am suffering MAJOR withdrawal. Until last night I had not put steel to wood since the middle of October. So, finally, last night in desperation, I went over to a friend's apartment and put a piece of poplar in her vice and took some passes with my 4 1/2. How friggin' desperate for woodwork is it when I am visiting woodworking buddies just so I can plane off shavings that collect on the carpet and confuse her cats. I suppose I should just be thankful that I have a woodworking friend who manages to keep a workbench in what is supposed to be the dining room area of her apatment.

With the exception of my Lie-Nielsen and Bridge City tools, work clothes and my laptop, EVERYTHING I own has been trapped on the back of a semi for 5 weeks. Cut me some frickin' slack here, kids, I'm losin' my mind!!!!!!!!!