Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Hang with me on this one, it’s kinda wild.

Last night I was going through the online tutorial by the United States Parachute Association. It’s a great site that helps new skydivers go over everything from parts of the rig to entering and exiting the plane to landing. Good stuff.

What struck me most were instructions about what to do in various emergencies.

You know, the HOLY SH**! kind of stuff.

One of the emergencies—very infrequent, by the way—is called “chute out.” This means some or all of a parachute canopy has come out inside the plane. In simple terms, someone’s parachute starts coming out before they are out.

If the door is closed there’s usually no problem. You just corral the canopy, tie it up and get it into a safe place. However, if part of the canopy gets outside the door the wind force is so strong you probably can’t get it back in. And, if the canopy and lines get tangled around parts of the plane the effect can be catastrophic.

The USPA manual says, “Whoever the canopy part belongs to needs to exit the plane immediately. If that means you push people out of your way, or push the person with the issue out, do so. Having a canopy deploy outside the plane can be deadly not only to that jumper but can damage the aircraft and take the entire plane load of people down.”

I immediately thought of the instruction as it might relate to workplaces in which one or more people are causing problems, bucking change, underperforming or, in some way, endangering the performance of the group.

It could also apply to habits, attitudes, ideas or beliefs that keep your life from being what you want and need it to be.

Whatever it is, or whoever they are, you have to get them out. Sometimes it isn’t an easy decision, but if you don’t you and/or the group goes down.

So, who or what do you need to push out the door?

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