When most people board a plane, they are anxious and unsettled while just trying to get to their seats and stow their carry-ons. I started flying when I was 4 years old and I have always had a curiosity and inquisitiveness about flying, especially the in-flight service.
As a result, flying nearly two million miles, I have had more than my fair share of opportunities to observe flight attendants in action. They offer a variety of lessons in a multitude of areas. Flight attendants have impeccable time management skills when it comes to getting the airplane ready for landing in the final minutes.
As my traveling experiences increased, I found myself in the front of the airplane more often than not. It was a front-row seat, my favorite seat is 1B which gives me a view into the galley and for how things really work in-flight.
I started to notice more of the differences in the service levels from first-class to coach. During an international flight in first-class in 1996, I had the opportunity to talk with the lead flight attendant and learn all about how that airline approached its in-flight service model.
The one thing that she shared with me that had the biggest impact on developing my service model was, understanding the ratio of flight attendants to passengers in each of the cabins.
Superior service came with a ratio of 1 flight attendant for every 4 passengers in first class, while in business class the ratio changed to 1 flight attendant for every 10 passengers. The ratio changed significantly in economy class with 1 flight attendant to every 40 passengers.
The passengers who experience the highest levels of service and satisfaction are those in first or business class. The same might be said for those professionals who are developing their career development goals.
The leaders who are willing to pay the premium for the service in first or business class, which includes working with a coach or mentor, are far more likely to achieve greater success in their career. What they are paying for is coaching and mentoring to differentiate them from others seeking similar career development goals.
Coaching and mentoring are tools that far too many professionals omit from their career development plan. I worked with coaches and mentors throughout my corporate career and achieved more success as a result. From starting my corporate career as a front line employee in 1982 to leaving my career as a president in 2017.
Coaching and mentoring support those who are willing to invest in themselves and their career development goals with guidance, best practices, and lessons learned. By working with a coach or mentor, leaders can save time in achieving their career development goals.
A coach or mentor will have the skills, knowledge, and expertise to guide a mentee to drive towards excellence in their performance and results. Guidance is all about sharing advice that might be useful and helpful in a particular situation or challenge.
The time that is saved in seeking guidance from a coach or mentor will only benefit a leader in achieving their career development goals sooner. Driven leaders, who are open to the guidance of a coach or mentor, will accelerate achieving their career successes.
Coaches and mentors have ample experiences and the depth of understanding to share their best practices with others. The willingness to learn best practices from a coach or mentor sets leaders apart from those who use trial and error to improve their skills and competencies. That process is lengthy and may not result in the required outcomes for success or worse derail a career.
The best practices that coaches and mentors might share with their mentees are typically based on their experiences over an extended period of time. The best coaches and mentors are the ones who have real-life experience to support them in working with their clients.
I developed the habit of reflecting in my career early on and have continued to find it one of the most valuable tools in my kit. Each time that I experience an event; meeting, training, etc., I go into reflections when it has been completed.
I ask myself what did I learn from this experience? What are the things that I did well in this experience? What are the things that I might do differently in the future?
These three questions guide me to learn lessons that would otherwise be lost in moving on to the next thing. It is a personal continuous improvement process for any professional seeking success in their career development plan.
The value of working with a coach or mentor can be found in these three areas: guidance, best practices, and lessons learned. Just by adding these three things to a career development plan, while working with a coach or mentor, will drive bigger results and successful outcomes.
Have you read the original anthology that was the catalyst for The Good Men Project? Buy here: The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want to join our calls on a regular basis, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo courtesy iStock.