Sunday, 24 June 2012

What is your natural operational style – a "perfector" or a "corrector"?

About 15 years ago, part of a mid-life crisis according to my wife, I learned to fly and got my private pilot’s license. On one training flight, after a particularly hairy approach where my instructor suggested I was coming in so low that he should nip out and open the gate at the threshold of the runway so I could land, he shared a profound observation with me about the 2 types of pilot.

The first type of pilot seldom do anything wrong – “fly the numbers”pilots – I call them “perfectors”.

The second type of pilot -  “correctors” - are making constant mistakes and yes, you have guessed it -  I am in this group which was rather disappointing.

However my instructor went on to say that the second group, who make constant mistakes and correct them, have much fewer accidents than the first group where mistakes are so rare that they are not well practiced in fixing them. In fact that’s how the instructor decides whether a pilot is ready to "go solo" or not – can they get themselves into trouble and then get out of it without him having to do anything! 

So what type of leader are you – a perfector or a corrector? Are you getting into enough  “small trouble” to become an expert at escaping or are avoiding all problems and storing it all up for some big mega problem one day which might bring you to earth with a crash? 

Ken Thompson (aka The BumbleBee) blogs about bioteams, virtual collaboration and business simulation at