The ‘daily deposit’ lesson of ‘Miracle on the Hudson’s’ Sullenberger

 In Learning from Luminaries

“For 40 years I had been making deposits in my ability to take-off, fly and land aircraft. On that fateful day I made a huge withdrawal. And if I hadn’t made all those deposits over all those years, I wouldn’t have been able to make that withdrawal, and save those people’s lives.”

I heard Captain Chelsey Sullenberger, utter something to the effect of these words on a television interview shortly after he had landed a US Airways plane in the New York’s Hudson River, on 15 January 2009, saving the lives of all the passengers and crew.

The lesson for you and me in relation to the above quote, and related to last week’s post on IDP – Intentionally Daily Practice (please see 30 September 2010, post) is this:

At some time in the future in your work you’ll be in a highly challenging situation. You might be in a very important meeting that you’re chairing, with high level executives and people are verbally assaulting you, or it’s Q & A time during a critical presentation and your mind has gone blank and hazy on a point that you should be totally across.

Like Sullenberger, if you have made prior daily deposits (eg. Intentional Daily Practice, of thinking on your feet techniques; of practising presence and certainty through how you conduct your body/use your voice) in your ability to maintain your dignity when under pressure – you’ll ‘save’ yourself in those challenging situations. That is, you’ll survive the encounter. But if you haven’t made those deposits, you might ‘drown’.

Reflecting the ‘How to’ from last week’s post, IDP important techniques and behaviours you’ve identified, so you can save yourself in challenging encounters and interactions.

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