Monday, September 5, 2011


I know it’s Labor Day and some of you will read this at work on Tuesday, but the simple fact that I’m writing it means I didn’t auger in on my tandem skydive on Sunday.

One word to describe the experience is: AWESOME! The word is a cliché but the “awe” part is wonderfully appropriate. We flew through the edge of a cloud!

Two words to describe it would be: Life Changing. That’s also a clichéd way to see an experience like this but think about using it as a lens through which to see life.

You are putting your life in the hands of a stranger you met a few minutes ago. The only way they can create and increase your confidence that you’ll come through the experience safely is to tell you (constantly and consistently) what they are doing, why they are doing it, what you need to do and what the positive outcomes will be if you do what they tell you to do.

Now, apply that to a potential marriage or management situation.

Too often we zoom off into relationships or work situations based on emotions or assumptions. There were no assumptions in the process of my jump yesterday. Andrew Lee, my tandem instructor, was outstanding. He was very professional, and laid back enough to make sure the experience was fun. I don’t think he realized the impact of the life lessons he was teaching.

I learned more about relationships in half-an-hour of riding up to 13,000 feet, being pushed out of a perfectly good airplane and floating to earth than I’ve learned in 40 years of interacting with people of the opposite sex.

I also learned that if organizations really wanted to offer a teambuilding exercise to new managers (hell, to all managers and executives) that, instead of a silly ropes course, would truly offer an experience that worked, they'd take'em all skydiving.

What challenge are you facing that you need more information, more confidence, more planning in order for it to be successful? Is it a relationship? Is it a change in workplace?

What if you knew you had to make a tandem skydive? You couldn't get out of it; you HAD to do it. How much planning and thought would you put into it? Why not do the same for your life situation?

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