Business Aviation Insider - January/February 2014 (PREVIEW) - (Page 32)
making decisions Without top-down Authority
Here's a scenario familiar to any scheduler and dispatcher (S&D): The flight department manager is unavailable
and a sudden thunderstorm requires modifying an itinerary in real-time and notifying the passengers and crew.
Or a flight request comes in and the S&D needs to tell the passengers that the mission can't be flown exactly
as requested because of crew-duty limits.
"In so many situations, S&Ds have to get results without authority," said Spring Adamo, flight logistics lead for
FirstEnergy and chairwoman of NBAA's S&D Committee. "People come to you with confidence in your ability to
find solutions quickly, and you need to have that confidence in yourself."
Many S&Ds see themselves as coordinators or facilitators, when, in fact, the passengers, the maintenance
team and pilots need them to be leaders. The issue of assuming a leadership role without explicit leadership
authority is so common that the NBAA S&D Committee has made the theme of this year's S&D Conference
"Take the Lead." Keynote speaker Betty Shotton, CEO of LiftOff Leadership, will help attendees find the confidence and gain specific strategies to see themselves as leaders.
Shotton sees both sides of the challenge. "On one hand, I've been the CEO of two FAR Part 135 carriers, so
I've had schedulers and dispatchers in my workforce," she said. "On the other, earlier in my career I flew the
line and took direction from S&Ds, so I know how they can get caught in the middle."
Because the S&D's role is so central, as an information hub for the flight department, schedulers make
important decisions everyday, while balancing diverse and often contradictory demands.
"S&D job descriptions typically require a lot of left-brain skills," said Shotton. "You need to be analytical,
precise, detail-oriented and able to multitask. But you also need a whole set of right-brain skills: to hold the big
picture in mind while coordinating the needs of many different stakeholders."
It's a job that requires a high degree of emotional intelligence, as well as "the self-confidence to not take things
personally," said Shotton, "And that needs to come from within. You can't wait for outside accolades."
When a flight request comes in, or a mission in progress needs to be modified, Adamo and Shotton advise
S&Ds to follow four steps:
1. Be a good listener, to the passenger requesting a flight, or the crew reporting new information.
2. Don't shoot from the hip. Ask, "Can I get back to you in 15 minutes?"
3. Pull all the information together quickly.
4. Offer options.
To make things easier when you have to make real-time decisions, Adamo and Shotton recommend building
relationships ahead of time with people both in and outside the company's flight department. "That will allow
people to put their trust in you when it's crunch time," said Shotton.
Don't Miss PDP Course on Strategic Leadership, jan. 14
A Professional Development Program (PDP) course on "Strategic Leadership:
How to Inspire & Achieve Results" will be held on Tuesday, jan. 14, in conjunction with the 2014 S&D Conference in New Orleans. The course is designed to
improve the leadership skills and performance of both Part 91 and 135 flight
department personnel and meets PDP Objective L3. The course will benefit
managers, schedulers, dispatchers and others within business aviation who find
themselves in leadership positions. Through the use of case studies and interactive team activities, emphasis is placed on the ability to exercise leadership by
being a role model, empowering personnel, building effective teams, promoting
the exchange of information and making sound decisions in order to achieve
flight department goals and promote larger company objectives. Get SDC2014
agenda details at www.nbaa.org/sdc/2014.
32 | Business Aviation Insider
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Business Aviation Insider - January/February 2014 (PREVIEW)
Business Aviation Insider - January/February 2014
Tips & Tools
Ask the OSG
Regulatory Hot Topics
Business Aviation in 2014: Framing Up the Year to Come
Out With the Old, in With the New: Three Policy Trends That Could Change How You Fly
In a Still-Recovering Aircraft Market, Refurbishment Takes Off
Midwest Manufacturers ‘Taking Care of Business’ With King Air
Special Section: Corporate Helicopters
Business Aviation Insider - January/February 2014 (PREVIEW)
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