// you’re reading...

Life Lessons

Flying Air Force One

The job of president isn’t the only one that will be changing hands in Washington, D.C., today.

Col. Mark Tillman, who has piloted the presidential plane, Air Force One, for years, is retiring. After flying President Bush nearly 2,000 times, today he transports him home to Texas — as an ex-president. And that marks a change in career for both of them.

“It’ll end the president’s term in office and it’ll also end my tenure at Air Force One,” Tillman said in a radio interview with CBS News.

Obviously, the job of making sure the president of the United States gets where he needs to go — safely — is a difficult and demanding job, requiring lots of focus.

But what do you suppose the pilot actually focused on? Focusing on his passenger wouldn’t have done any good. That would be too much pressure. Instead, he focused on flying the plane.

This is an important lesson for all competitors. For instance, if you’re preparing to play for a championship, you can’t focus on the importance of the game. You’ve got to focus on preparing as well as you can.

In the Super Bowl, it’s quite possible that the kicker on either the Arizona Cardinals or the Pittsburgh Steelers will be called upon to make a game-winning kick. When and if that moment comes, the kicker can’t focus on the magnitude of the game. He has to concentrate on making a good kick.

This idea is called process vs. product.

Great performers focus on the process (executing the skill) rather than on the product (what the result will be).

So whether you’re flying the president of the United States, trying to win a Super Bowl, or pursuing a championship of your own, you must focus on the right thing — the process.


No comments for “Flying Air Force One”

Post a comment