Commentary: Learning a lesson from Capt. Sully

The Macon TelegraphOctober 16, 2009 

Working in the news business, I must admit there are stories I get tired of.

And then there are the stories I can't get enough of.

One such story is that of Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenburger, the heroic pilot of US Airways flight 1549 who successfully landed on the Hudson River on Jan. 15 after a flock of geese caused both engines to fail.

The captain was back in the news this week promoting his book, "Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters."

The day after the flight dubbed "The Miracle on the Hudson," I, like many people, was inspired.

There are so many lessons to be learned from Sullenburger's actions that day and I'm sure their are numerous case studies being authored about leadership, decisive decision-making, and, most importantly, training.

Sully was prepared. During a time when every second meant life or death, Sully didn't waste a second on "what ifs." He didn't get into any discussions about what needed to be done in this most critical of circumstances.

He did all of that in training.

Here's an excerpt from his book: "Based on my experience, I was confident that I could make an emergency water landing that was survivable. That confidence was stronger than any fear."

Wow! No wonder one of his many nicknames is Capt. Cool. I want to be Capt. Cool.

Call it a man crush or a bro-mance, I don't care, but I want to be like Sully. I want to work for people like Sully. I want people who work for me to be like Sully.

If you don't already, imagine working for someone like Sully. Imagine if the folks who worked for you were like Sully. That would be one successful, strong organization.

To read the complete column, visit

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