I recently had an experience where someone took me flying and nearly killed me!  I am a pilot and regularly fly in our North East home, and I am fortunate enough to experience flying frequently.  The pilot in charge was very experienced in terms of operational procedures but unaware to me, had real issues with the runway we were using that day.

The pilot had made a decision that the runway was a challenge and even managed to convince themselves that they should land each time and they wouldn’t be beaten!

As we approached to land, I commented “What a fantastic approach” it was time to perfection and brought us on a brilliant heading for a perfect landing.  What I didn’t realise is that our approach was far to high and very fast.  We should have gone around, every pilot knows that and I then I thought we were.  However, we didn’t, and as I saw the landing point, we would typically land flash by I thought we are going around.  Eventually, near the end of the runway we bounced, I thought we would then go around; we didn’t.  We bounced two more times, and each one was more violent than the last.  We should have gone around; I should have said something. We didn’t.

We were lucky, we came to a standstill, and apart from some dented pride, we walked away to fly another day.

I learnt a lot from that experience.  I am a massive believer in learning, and the reality is that we learn from our mistakes. We always have to remember that. Although you could say it wasn’t me making the mistake, I believe I was part of the issue; I should have said something.

When we went home, I reflected, did lots of research and discovered what had caused the pilot to make those wrong decisions.  I’m not going to say I will never make the mistake they did, I possibly will.  What I will say is that I learnt significantly from the whole process.  I have reflected and it made me think about how I fly.

We can apply this principle to every aspect of management.  Every day is a school day, let's learn from the mistakes we will make and reflect on what we could do better next time.

Ralph Moody is the founder of Target Training and specialises in trainer and management development.  You can read more about him here.