Summary of The Pilot – Learning Leadership

Applying Supersonic Jet Flying Principles to Business and Life

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The Pilot – Learning Leadership book summary
Prepare, practice and perform like a pilot. When the pressure is on, soar.


7 Overall

7 Applicability

6 Innovation

6 Style


Former US Air Force (USAF) and commercial aviation pilots turned entrepreneurs Bill and Colleen Hensley reveal the unique disciplines that allow pilots to excel under enormous stress. The Hensleys’ lighthearted tone and dramatic narrative make this a quick, easy read, but one whose lessons linger. Their fictionalized but accurate tale about USAF pilots learning to fly the fiendishly fast supersonic T-38 jet reveals the roots of the Hensleys’ method for personal success. The book has an endearing gee-whiz quality; it reads like a story in a Boy Scout magazine. The whiz-bang tone offsets the book’s shortfall: While the Hensleys adeptly describe the programs and practices pilots follow to achieve mastery, they never quite connect these practices to a world outside the military. Even so, getAbstract recommends their enjoyable flight-based narrative to anyone seeking a more purposeful, disciplined approach to work and life.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What mental, physical and psychological rigors pilots undergo in US Air Force supersonic aircraft training
  • What their discipline and willpower teach you
  • How to apply their methods of learning, coping and excelling


Navigating the “PEER Performance Model”
“Achieving mastery” in any field or skill is not and should not be easy. Real mastery requires disciplined effort and self-sacrifice as well as the self-knowledge that comes from both that effort and that sacrifice. Achieving mastery means coming...
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About the Authors

Bill Hensley and Colleen Hensley both are former US Air Force and commercial aviation pilots.

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