A Stealth Pilot’s Secrets of Success – TEDx

“I told (my teenage son) ‘Your life is going to be hard. It can be hard because you decided not to pay the price to become valuable and you’ll be left with none of the options or it can be hard because you paid the price and paying the price is hard but if you’ll pay the price, become valuable, then your options are unlimited.’ “

Bill Crawford – TEDx Rexford

TED talks are some of the most valuable content on YouTube right now. These are collected speeches on many subjects from people in all walks of life based on their experiences. They might not always give specific, practical advice but they share what they’ve learned and provide new perspectives.

Bill Crawford is a graduate of Brigham Young University and Harvard Buiness School and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who flew fighter missions over Baghdad. In this video, he talks about the determination to be the best that helped him achieve his successes. Specifically, he talks about the value of the debrief – the part of a mission or project, regardless of the outcome, good or bad, in which the events are analyzed and the people responsible determine what went right and wrong and why.

Sadly, in 30 years of experience with different companies and organizations, I’ve rarely seen this done. More importantly, I’ve rarely seen it done without blame being assigned as Crawford emphasizes is so important. It’s very hard for people to avoid casting blame in some way or perceiving blame which usually leads to an irresistable impulse to pass the blame on to someone else, often down the ladder.

Still, the emphasis in this talk is on the personal debriefs and post-action analyses that will help individuals improve their own performance in any field and expand their options. I recommend the video highly.