Radio Sales Today

RAB Sales Tips

Leadership lessons from a pilot

The entire RAB team gathered in Dallas this week for our board meeting and all staff meeting to say thank you and goodbye… (It's hard to write that word) to Erica Farber, our amazing leader.

Travel always provides a wealth of lessons and stories about patience, human nature and handling inconvenient circumstances. When you travel, things happen that you can't control, and it can test your reaction, patience and ability to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.

Tammy Greenberg, RAB SVP of business development, shared her story, and it provides some great lessons to leaders on how to manage through this constant and massive change in our industry. Tammy's plane had a few delays, and Tammy shared:

“You won't believe what happened. The pilot came off the plane to the gate area, grabbed the microphone and told us all what was happening. Then we boarded the plane, and as we were seated, the pilot came out of the cockpit again, stood at the front of the plane and took the mic from the flight attendant. He apologized for the situation, gave us an update and told us he was pretty sure he could make up the time in flight.”

As I thought about the story, there are five specific things the pilot did that we, as managers, can all learn from:

Visibility — He didn't hide in the cockpit (office) and deal with the situation alone. He came out in front of the passengers on several occasions.

Details — The pilot didn't just say we have a situation we're dealing with. He was specific about the issues and how he intended to solve them.

Validation — The pilot acknowledged the discomfort and potential anger this could cause passengers. He provided empathy for the situation and how it was affecting them.

Authenticity — The pilot didn't use corporate doublespeak; he was authentic and human when sharing the details and the impact on the passengers.

Frequency — The pilot didn't know how long the problem would last, so he provided frequent updates, so passengers never had to wonder what was happening.

Our industry's complexity and rapid change can quickly throw a team into chaos. Using these five lessons from the pilot can go a long way to helping your team adapt to and work through change.

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at You can all so connect with him on X and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, SVP of Professional Development