“Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.”
Every issue of D.O.M. magazine provides us the opportunity to read a variety of leadership and management articles that can help us become better aviation management professionals. Our contributing writers, who are subject matter experts on different topics, give us the opportunity to learn new ideas and apply them in our workplaces. The staff at D.O.M. magazine is proud to have such a great group of professionals onboard, and we value their contributions to each and every issue!
Notice how I used “us?” That’s because I’m right there with you, learning as much as you are while putting each issue together. Like many of you, I never had any formal management or leadership training. I was an A&P who one day had the opportunity to become a supervisor. It would have been nice to have a magazine like D.O.M. available back then to help make that transition easier!
We can all find room for improvement. When I first started working as an editor 16 years ago, my writing needed improvement. Although I had taken some college-level writing courses, writing had never been the main part of my job. The closest I came was writing work instructions and training courses as part of my QA responsibilities. Thanks to Michelle Gardner, my editor and mentor when I first started working in publishing, I began to improve my writing skills. I continue to improve my writing and editing skills to this day. If you do find a typo every now and then, forgive me. I am still an aircraft mechanic at heart, not a journalism or English major! I believe that is the strength of our team – we are aircraft mechanics, not just journalists who find aviation “neat!”
The point is we will never know it all — there is always room for learning and improvement. The day we think we know it all is the day we should retire or find another job!
There is one article that especially caught my attention in our upcoming December/January issue. It’s Dr. Shari Frisinger’s article “Character — The Foundation of Your Success” on page 32. I agree with Shari 100 percent — character is THE most important aspect of our lives and profession.
There are many skills we can improve on. There are many things we can learn to further our career opportunities. But without character, we have nothing. Character is the center of our being.
If we are a person of character people trust and respect us. We honor our word and treat others with respect.
The late Bill O’Brien used to talk about character as part of his IA seminars. He said once you cross that line, there is no going back. That mechanic who “pencil-whips” an inspection will never be trusted. That supervisor who lies to his crew will never be respected. That DOM who belittles and yells at his subordinates will never have a team of engaged, motivated employees. That VP of maintenance who takes all of the credit for the hard work of others will be seen for his true lack of character. That sales person who talks bad about his competitors instead of highlighting the strengths of his company’s products and services will send potential customers elsewhere.
I think you get the point. Character is important in any industry. It is especially important in ours – where the lives of many are in our hands.
In the end it can be summed up by the “family test.” In regards to how we treat others and interact in the workplace, we can ask, “Would my grandmother be proud of me?” In regards of our maintenance actions, we can ask, “Would I put my family and loved ones on this plane?” If the answer to either question is “No,” we have some work to do!
Thanks for reading, and we appreciate your feedback!