Maybe, if you recall, Bill, you can give a quick recap on what was said?
You know Kristie, attending JC Vegas 08 was a real treat for me. The opportunity to meet the gang was priceless and I so look forward to next year. What I said in recap was:
It is a mistake to confuse the airline industry as an ambiguous entity. Truth is, the industry is "us." Imagine being in a row boat with 10 people trying to paddle to shore. Three people choose not to paddle and let the others carry the load. Two or three others see the ones not paddling as getting a free ride and they too quit paddling to enjoy the trip. At some point you have one or two committed paddlers carrying the whole boat. The raft will creep forward but certainly not at a pace for which it is capable. This analogy can be used nicely to illustrate the aviation industry. Every single person on this site whether they be pilots, controllers, mechanics, flight attendants, physicians or anything else for that matter needs to understand that they have a paddle and it needs to be used. The successes in this industry are directly attributable to those who have paddled before us. The unprofessional attitudes and unsavory aspects of this industry can be directly traced to those who in some capacity, chose not to paddle - the takers if you will.
So how do we do our part?
1. Be professional in all things. Respect those around you and build rather than tear down. After all, the things that bond us far exceed the things that divide us. And remember, always listen more than you talk.
2. Look in the mirror and ask yourself: "Do I look the part and represent the image of the professional I wish to become?" If you don't, make changes. These things can include grooming, healthy or unhealthy habits, what you wear, what you read, who you spend time with and many more. The strength and depth of your success will largely be based upon the foundation you build upon.
3. Maintain high professional standards which include:
a) Don't fly airplanes that shouldn't be flown.
b) Don't fly when you are physically unfit to do so.
c) Don't adopt "settle for" attitudes.
d) Look the part.
e) Mentor those who will replace you one day.
f) Be an ambassador to your craft and don't give your services away.
g)Remember that humility is more valuable than gold.
and others you can add yourself......
4. The future of our beloved aviation industry can be seen in a mirror - it's you!!! We must be compelled to pull our weight and then some. Do more than which is required and do it in a spirit of giving back. Many things we perceive as bad or negative could just as easily be seen in a positive light if we will just allow that type of thinking to occur. My dad used to tell me that there are many people in the world who feel compelled to complain after finding a $5 bill because it wasn't a $10. Your positive or negative attitude will have a profound effect (good or bad) on those around you.
5. Stick to it. I was raised in a very low income family where the thoughts and prospects of becoming an airline captain were as rare as eating caviar, becoming a rock star or driving a Ferrari on a poor man's budget. Despite all that, I was blessed with a strong desire and will to achieve something in life. When I had an opportunity to witness the Blue Angels in action, I was forever hooked on airplanes and committed to myself that I would never stop and never look back. I never did care much for people who told me I couldn't do something and avoided being in their company. I did however, find comfort in spending time with dreamers and doers. I will tell anyone here that aspires to occupy the left seat at a major airline that it can be done. In fact, I will tell you that it has much more to do with drive and commitment than it has to do with talent or academic ability. My academic record leaves a lot to be desired - let's just say I never found myself on any Dean's List. You can occupy my seat if you are willing to do what it takes to get there - follow the map if you will. Actually, we are quite fortunate in that 90 percent of those who start this journey will be lost in the process. Those are the ones who will watch football, play video games or take a nap instead of going to the airport and learning something new. We will only be competing against the remaining 10 percent when it comes time to apply for those coveted flight positions.
That's it guys. I feel truly blessed to be part of this industry despite the challenges. I am optimistic that this industry will return to happier and healthier days and for that we must be ready. I am grateful for friends and for the strength they provide me. I appreciate the opportunity to be part of this JC team and look forward to continue my learning from those who post here. Doug and Kristie deserve a GIGANTIC "Thank You" for their work and dedication on our behalf. Until next year.....