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Fast Jet Performance

Former Royal Air Force fighter pilot and fast jet tactical weapons flying instructor talks about performance psychology and overcoming struggle to accelerate your life.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/fast-jet-performance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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Why Fighter Pilots Keep the Maths Simple and Why You Should Too

I decided that I was not going to die today.   And with that I closed the throttle and, as the nose of my fighter jet lazily dropped below the horizon, I rolled out on a rough heading for home.   'Jester 3 is bingo, RTB.' I called over the radio, letting the other two aircraft that I was with know that I was heading home and on minimum fuel.   I was on fumes.   It's a daily occurrence when you are flying to one of the most tightly packed flying schedules in the world. In order to maximise the training value for the student pilots you have to stay in the air for as long as possible and that often means running your fuel down to frighteningly low levels. Think of it as driving past a fuel stop in the hope of reaching another one even though your car's fuel light has been on for the last 10 miles.   Except there is no hard-shoulder to park in should you get it wrong.   And the penalties for making mistakes become harsher depending on the discipline being flown. If you are flying a low-level navigation sortie, intending to pull up and fly home some 100-odd miles away from your base airfield, you calculate your required fuel to get home on the ground before you even get airborne. This way you can check that your fuel airborne matches the fuel you calculated in the planning phase when you were on the ground and your head wasn't trying to do a million other things. http://www.fastjetperformance.com/podcasts/-why-fighter-pilots-keep-the-maths-simple-and-why-you-should-tooSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/fast-jet-performance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


16 Feb 2017

Rank #1

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Why this One Forgotten Email Proves that Millennials are the Luckiest Generation, Ever.

I like millennials.   There, I’ve said it.   And, before my inbox explodes with all the hate mail from my more ‘senior’ readers, let me explain.   I like millennials because they have so much potential and yet, they don’t even know it. They are today's 'underdogs' and, once upon a time, I was an underdog, too - all the criticism aimed at millennials could have been aimed at me. ​When I was young, I too was arrogant, self-assured and confrontational.     But, there’s another reason I like millennials.   Millennials have learnt from politicians that it's wise to have a healthy disrespect for authority and conformity and that makes them similar to other people I also like.   Pilots.   The thing is though, unlike pilots, most millennials haven't yet realised that just having ‘passion’ isn’t going to get them very far in life. And, that’s fine because it means that when they do work it out, they will be the ones who will go on to change the world.   Pilots understand this.   Whilst most millennials are still trying to ‘follow their passion’, there is a small cadre of young people who realise that it’s not the ‘following’ of a passion that is going to make them successful - it’s the ‘crafting’ of one.   Telling young people that only hard work and sacrifice will lead to success, is not always a popular message. That's because it’s not easy to communicate with a generation that feel let down by their elders but, a great leader will always find a way to get his team to 'go the extra mile'.   A great leader sacrifices her own time to grow her team.   A great leader uses the language of his team so he can be understood.   A great leader is very hard to find.   But, a few months ago I was forwarded an email from the Commanding Officer of a United States Marine Corps Harrier Squadron to his pilots. The email was so in-line with my own thoughts on leadership that I planned to write to him, thank him for his wisdom and cunningly find a way to make him my mentor. Why this One Forgotten Email Proves that Millennials are the Luckiest Generation, Ever.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/fast-jet-performance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


7 Jan 2018

Rank #2

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How You Can Build a Solid Foundation for Change in 5 Simple Steps - Even If You've Failed Before.

We think about ourselves a lot. If you were stuck in a cage with a crocodile you'd think about that a lot too but you're not stuck in a cage with a crocodile. But you are stuck with you. And, unlike crocodiles, we humans are easily deluded by the next great thing - I mean, ‘Everything will be OK when…’ 'We get the new car…' 'We get the new job…' 'We move to a better area…' We imagine that when these things happen, everything will be OK. But it won’t. It won’t because we often use these things to replace an emptiness inside of us, a foundational fragility, and if that emptiness isn’t addressed then no amount of cars, promotions or houses will make us happy.Click here for postSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/fast-jet-performance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

2 Jan 2016

Rank #3

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Arguments in the Cockpit - How to Have Better Relationships and be Liked at Parties.

We all know that pilots are an overconfident bunch. You've seen the airline captain wearing sunglasses as he walks through the airport terminal or you've met the pilot who insists on telling you what he does for a living before you've even asked.​But pilots are also flawed in other ways. The problem stems from the fact that normally pilots have always been the best at what they've done when growing up. So much so that they will even avoid or stop doing something that they are not very good at just because they are not very good at it. If they played rugby in the first team at school but suck at playing the guitar then their focus will drift more onto their sporting, rather their musical, endeavours. Pilots want to solve things and be impressive to people and if they can't then they quickly lose interest - this can come across as egotistical. But they are not alone with their narcissistic attributes. Who has never said 'When I lose some weight, get a new car or climb Mount Kilimanjaro people will think I'm awesome and I'll have loads of friends!' Pilots want to impress people, of course they do. But so does everybody else. But what if I said that the secret to being liked was not to be impressive but to be impressed? One of the strangest things that I've found is that the less I say at parties, the more people talk about me. If I meet someone and they talk about themselves all evening, I'll hear back the next day that they think that we had a great conversation. Even though they only spoke about themselves all night! Read more here...Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/fast-jet-performance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

21 Dec 2015

Rank #4

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Death in the Red Arrows - When the Display is More Important than Safety

(Re-recorded and shorted to 50 mins)There will always be a lack of necessary external oversight of flight safety and organisational competence on the most visible Squadron in the RAF.The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, have demonstrated that they are the most dangerous and failing squadron in the RAF, yet continue to not be given the proper resources to function safely.The same recommendations continue to be ignored with the excuse that the aircraft is soon to retire, only for it to be extended.If I had been flying the aircraft at RAF Valley on 20 March 2018, with the same experience and currencies of the pilot - I too would have crashed, as would any of my team.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/fast-jet-performance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


3 Nov 2019

Rank #5

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SAM Dodging Over the Nevada Desert - Why Low-Level Flying is Still Necessary

Of my friends and colleagues that have been killed in military aircraft they have all had one thing in common - they were all in control of the aircraft when they died. Low-level flying is an unforgiving business and it doesn't take much to get it wrong. This is why we have currencies, proficiencies and rules, to make sure that we are safe to operate when close to the ground.You see, humans are exceptionally poor at multi-tasking and pilots are no different. Everybody thinks that pilots must be good at it but nothing could be further from the truth. Pilots don't multi-task - they just prioritise a task list exceptionally quickly. When a pilot is flying they try to have as clear a mind as possible, I liken it to a blank piece of paper or a whiteboard on an office wall. When a task comes in, such as a radio call, radar contact or something that requires an unplanned action from the pilot, it needs to be dealt with as efficiently as possible. It's like the task is automatically written onto the whiteboard but only one task can fit at any one time; the pilot must deal with it as fast as they can so that they can clear the whiteboard for the next task. Sometimes this might mean that the task gets half done or postponed as the next task that has come in is deemed more important; this is called prioritisation. If one task is ongoing when another task comes in then the pilot will attempt to compartmentalise the tasks, putting them both onto the whiteboard - in this case both tasks are now being done poorly. If another task comes in and the pilot cannot clear the whiteboard quickly enough then task-saturation can occur.It is at this point that most of my friends have been killed. The experienced pilot recognises task saturation approaching and applies the mantra 'Aviate, Navigate, Communicate'. For most pilots hearing is the first sense we lose when we become overloaded, you miss a radio call. Personally, when I stop being able to effectively communicate with my formation or with air traffic, I recognise this as my first indication that all is becoming too much. At this point, especially if I am at low-level, I prioritise the flying of the aircraft and step my height up a little.I prioritise the flying.'You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.' I have a friend who was the rear-seater (WSO) in a Tornado GR4 that crashed on the east coast of England. They were flying at 250 ft when his aircraft hit a flock of birds and lost power to both of the engines. The pilot was so involved in trying to get at least one engine relit that my friend had to initiate the command eject system removing them both from the aircraft seconds before it stalled, quickly lost lift and impacted the ground. The subsequent inquiry concluded that if the ejection had been over a second later then they would have both been killed.http://www.fastjetperformance.com/podcasts/sam-dodging-over-the-nevada-desert-why-low-level-flying-is-still-necessarySupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/fast-jet-performance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

25 May 2015

Rank #6

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Experience or Education - How Darts and a German Race Track Can Get You into the Top 1.24%

If I gave you some darts and stood you in front of a dartboard for a year, could you become the next Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor with just practise or would you need the help of someone who had some knowledge of darts? This is exactly what bored office worker Justin Irwin did in 2008. He decided that he wanted to excel at a sport but he had a problem; he was 35 and past his sporting prime.So he picked darts. He quit his £50,000 job to practise full time and prepare himself for a life of darting glory - what he found out, though, might surprise you. But before we talk about Justin's experience, let’s take the question further.  What if you could only have one of those options for a whole year - practise OR knowledge? You have a choice and in a year's time you will be entered into the prestigious Lakeside World Darts Championships in Surrey. Now, you could either stand in front of the dartboard for a year and practise for 8 hours a day but with no help whatsoever OR never throw a dart for the whole year but have every expert in the world demonstrate their technique, talk you through it, watch expert videos and give you their undivided expert advice 24/7. Which would you choose?http://www.fastjetperformance.com/podcasts/experience-or-education-how-darts-and-a-german-race-track-can-get-you-into-the-top-124Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/fast-jet-performance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

17 May 2015

Rank #7

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Impostor Syndrome and The Fine Line Between Confidence and Arrogance

So, it's fair to say that the majority of the population would probably view fast jet pilots as an arrogant bunch of people who display significant narcissistic attributes. Any high-achiever whether a race car driver, wealthy stockbroker or famous musician/actor would also most probably be thought of as cocky and arrogant but this is often not the case. It has been said that the Millennials, or Generation Y (those born in the 1990s), are the most 'self-satisfied' and entitled generation yet and they are frequently dismissed as lazy by the baby-boomer generation (those born between 1946-1964). In the UK we are currently seeing a shift from hereditary wealth to a meritocracy where hard work and ideas are the order of the day - Generation Y are at the forefront of this change.Generation Y are confident, connected and open to changeGeneration Y are confident, connected and open to change and this can be threatening to other generations who might feel a bit redundant or can't work 'them interwebs'. The baby-boomer's place as the wealthiest generation is caused by 3 things - size, social change (women in the workplace) and education. The current class system in British politics is slowly being replaced by a meritocracy. Yes, the new generations are slowly getting wealthier but arguably only because of inherited wealth and a public school education. Michael Young, later Lord Young of Dartington wrote, at the age of 85, of his worries. Young observed in his 2001 article, “if meritocrats believe . . . that their advancement comes from their own merits, they feel they deserve whatever they can get. They can be insufferably smug, much more than people who knew they had achieved advancement not on their own merit but because they were, as somebody’s son or daughter, the beneficiaries of nepotism. The newcomers actually believe they have morality on their side.”  A confusing picture indeed for generations split apart by many years.  Right now, though, the current generation of movers and shakers are this 'smug' Generation Y as Lord Young so eloquently states - they are also the new pilots and high achievers to be found in emerging enterprises such as tech start-ups. So, what does this have to do with Impostor Syndrome or confidence and arrogance?Impostor Syndrome can affect up to 70% of people in the workplace today'It is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be. Notably, impostor syndrome is particularly common among high-achieving women.' - Wiki.  Impostor Syndrome affects more women than men and, as a demographic, more African Americans who are thought to suffer from it as a result of positive discrimination policies. Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, suffers from it and the condition was the basis for her book 'Lean In' which promotes the role of women in the workplace. It is taught, by performance coaches, that three-quarters of those sat at a business meeting are worried that they don't know what they are doing, that they are a fraud and that they are going to get found out. Although the example above concerns a business meeting, it is equally true of a cockpit, especially if occupied by a student or underconfident pilot who is low on flying hours. Military aviation is an unforgiving business and in my career I have lost more than 30 of my friends - I stopped counting at 30. These are not all from fast jet incidents; I have lost many from helicopter and multi-engine incidents too. I call them incidents because I believe none were accidents; there is always responsibility somewhere whether from pilot or maintenance error all the way up to Governmental neglect and under funding - the subject of another post, I'm sure.   So, if 70% of the population suffers from Imposter Syndrome then does this 70% include pilots?  I can assure you it doesWhen I was in training I was fully engaged in my mission of getting to the front line - it was all I could think about. Your whole life seems to revolve around it - our initial training at BRNC Dartmouth or RAFC Cranwell is immersive - it has to be in order to turn you from a civilian into a military Officer. Then you move onto flying training which becomes arduous and totally unforgiving, placing you firmly in your stretch zone for months at a time. You see your course mates struggle and fail trips and you might fail the odd trip yourself. The guy or girl you thought was a 'sure thing' for a Harrier or Typhoon cockpit stumbles on a check ride and you start to have massive self-doubt - 'If they can't pass it how will I ever be able to?' Friends are 'chopped' around you (removed from training) and, if they are lucky, they might get a chance to be re-streamed onto rotary or multi-engine but, if not, then their military flying career ends. You've invested so much of your life pursuing this goal that you start to wonder if it's worth it. The stress can be life changing - relationships end and girlfriends/boyfriends leave. I was once asked by a student who was struggling towards the end of Advanced Flying Training on the Hawk T1 'Is it all worth it?' - he never found out, he was chopped 2 trips later.If a student is doubting their ability when flying with an instructor in the aircraft then you can be doubly sure that they are doubting themselves when they have to fly solo. At our flying school we have a dedicated 'Student Solo Outbrief'; this is there to make sure that the authorising officer of the solo student has covered everything necessary to confirm that they are in date for the multitude of currencies and qualifications that they need to fly solo. This is because the authorising officer has to be sure that the student is going to bring themselves, and the £20 million Hawk T2, back home. The list is extensive - have they flown dual in the last 7 days, did they pass the preceding sortie to a satisfactory level, is their instrument rating fit for the actual and forecast weather conditions, do they have any outstanding currencies and are they in date for the many drills and evolution's that they need in order to fly as Captain of the aircraft? It is extensive and appropriately so but it can also be incredibly daunting for the student as the magnitude of the responsibility they are about to be given starts to dawn on them. As pilots their character does not allow them to appear weak in  front of their peersAs pilots their character does not allow them to appear weak in front of their peers so when you ask them 'Are you happy to take this aircraft by yourself?' they will always reply with the affirmative. But, away from the squadron, when they are back in their comfort zone with family, friends and maybe even some of their closer course mates, they will reveal the truth - they are scared as hell and, as instructors, we know this. When we were students we were scared as hell too, not only of doing something wrong and throwing a jet away, but also of failure. The same goes for an instructor who is required to teach a student a discipline that he hasn't practised in a while. The more dynamic the nature of the flight plus the more aircraft and people involved plus the recency and flying currency of the instructor involved all add up to the level of apprehension felt by the instructor. This can be huge, the responsibility immense and, in my time as a Flight Commander on the squadron, I have had many instructors approach me with their fears. This is a good thing as it at least means that the communication channels to higher authority are working but the need to manage the variables that are causing the apprehension is very necessary. Sometimes I'd remove the instructor from the sortie for further dedicated training with an experienced and appreciative instructor or I might just fly with the instructor myself (if capacity for this existed in the sortie profile).So, when we think of a fast jet pilot as arrogant, or even a commercial pilot, who carries huge responsibilities, maybe what you are observing is a coping mechanism which is helping the individual remain confident enough to get into the aeroplane and do the job. After Andreas Lubitz supposedly flew his airliner into the French Alps, many Germanwings pilots refused to fly the next day - was this truly due to concern over the Airbus design as was cited in the news or was it a display of severe and sudden apprehension? I recently saw an airline flight roster for a new First Officer who had just joined the company (albeit after a 16 year long career flying military aircraft). Over the year the First Officer's roster would give him one weekend at home per month. Now, if he had a small family or his wife was working, how much is he going to be at home to support them? Not much, I'd guess, as on his mid-week days off his partner is quite possibly at work and cracks in their relationship will, no doubt, soon appear. Now transpose that roster onto a young First Officer straight out of flight school with maybe some financial debt from his flying training and earning not a great initial wage - you now have problems both at work and at home. A pilot's arrogance is just an attempt to portray confidenceIt is nothing more than thinly veiled Impostor Syndrome that is common throughout society - those that fly aircraft are no different, they are just trying not to get found out either. As your experience grows and you become more confident you start to care less about the opinion of others and you become more content. But until then, pilots are just not too keen on letting people know that they are all too aware of there own mortality and limited ability. So, the next time you think of a high-achieving pilot as arrogant, they are probably just feeling like an impostor which makes them more similar to you than you think. Until we slip the surly bonds of Early again - fly safe! Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/fast-jet-performance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

16 Apr 2015

Rank #8

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Well, You Got that Wrong - Let's Talk about ‘Military' Courage

His fist connected with my lower jaw, throwing my head back several feet from the impact.​ I didn’t feel pain as such but more of a huge disturbance, a very sudden and very real shock. I could feel something in my mouth, a tooth maybe, or part of one; I spat it out, I wasn’t going to need that anymore. My assailant stood in front of me, his hands by his side and a look of disbelief on his face. He had just thrown the hardest punch he had and, for some unknown reason, I was still standing. I’m sure that neither of us expected that. I’d been hit before but never with so much force and never with so little warning; I didn’t know why I hadn't fallen. If I’d had my mouth open it would have broken my jaw for sure; I wasn’t sure that my jaw wasn't broken, the adrenaline that results from such trauma doesn’t always allow the damage to be revealed for some time. He was stood there, looking at me. The colour was starting to drain from his face and the voices of his friends that had, until a few seconds ago been loud and eager, were now hesitant and hushed. I looked over to them; I was outnumbered 3 to 1. I knew that there was only one thing that I could do that was going to stop me getting a severe beating and it was something that I really didn’t want to happen. ‘This is not a good day for you.’ I said.  And with that, I swallowed hard and took a step forwards. http://www.fastjetperformance.com/podcasts/well-cameron-you-got-that-wrong-lets-talk-about-military-courageSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/fast-jet-performance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


15 Dec 2016

Rank #9

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'F.U. I Won't Do What You Tell Me!' - To Not Conform

You know the feeling you get when you’ve done something wrong and you’re about to get into trouble? You’re afraid of what people might say. You’re afraid that your actions may have hurt someone. You’re afraid that your judgement will be questioned and you’ll be asked to explain yourself. But you know what’s worse than knowing you’ve done something wrong? Being completely unaware of it until an angry Senior Naval Officer opens his huge office door and shouts, ‘Davies! Get in here - NOW!’ That’s worse. ​ And, as I stepped sheepishly into his office, all I could think of was how this giant of a man could end my career. Today. http://www.fastjetperformance.com/podcasts/fu-i-wont-do-what-you-tell-me-to-not-conform Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/fast-jet-performance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


28 Jul 2017

Rank #10

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Fast Jet Pilot gets an Office Job! - 6 Tips for Better Communication in the Workplace

So, I've just swapped the cockpit of my military fast jet for a desk in an office and, WHOA... ...Am I learning about communication! Or the lack of it. I'm probably just not familiar with all of the nuances yet, I mean - I've only been there a month or so. But I've become fascinated with the way people exchange information and, as I still fly a few hours each month, I've been comparing how pilots communicate with how it's done in the office. Communication in the Cockpit. This week I had to check one of my flying instructors on his annual flying ability test. This instructor is one of my top guys and an ex-single seat ground attack pilot. His flying was excellent but there was just something he did that caught my eye.READ MORE :) Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/fast-jet-performance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

29 Oct 2015

Rank #11

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How to Not Get Trapped By Your Passion - Why Passion is a Dick!

A pilot from Brazil wrote to me after reading one of my essays on why I left the RAF.https://fastjetperformance.com/podcasts/why-i-quit-the-greatest-job-in-the-world-the-curse-of-the-bovril-snail/Also words on alcohol dependency and why it is built into my Spin Recovery Course.Yes, I've also reactivated 12MAWs, too!Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/fast-jet-performance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


28 Jul 2019

Rank #12

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Why Fighter Pilots know that Quick Reactions are for Losers!

‘I plan for the 6th order effect and I do it in about half a second.’ If I had heard that from anyone other than another fighter pilot, I would’ve laughed them out of the room but, from my buddy, Jim - I knew it was true. I flown with him many times before. He was the kind of guy that radios weren’t invented for - he just didn’t need to use them. I knew what he was thinking before he’d even thought it because we’d both been trained in exactly the same way. We’d gone through flying training together and even served on the same front-line squadron; his actions were fluid, predictable and, when leading other aircraft in dynamic situations, was very much appreciated by other pilots. But, Jim was in trouble.   He was explaining to a young Air Traffic Control Officer why he had gone against their direction - a serious offence. He looked over at me - not for reassurance - he was annoyed and I understood why. If you haven’t spent the last two decades flying military fast jets, you’d be forgiven for thinking that fighter pilots must have amazing reactions to do what they do.  But, it’s not true. http://www.fastjetperformance.com/podcasts/why-fighter-pilots-know-that-quick-reactions-are-for-losers Donations welcome at https://www.patreon.com/timdaviesSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/fast-jet-performance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


23 Feb 2018

Rank #13

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The Underlying Brutality of Military Life

Email from Rob. As so many have before me, I wanted to put pen to paper, (to coin an old phrase), to say thanks for your unwavering desire to help people succeed and to congratulate you firstly on what I believe to be very pertinent and grounding articles and podcasts, and secondly for what appears to have been a very successful flying career, (I say that because by now you may well have left the service and you’re still here to tell the tale, having undoubtedly made a big difference in a lot of young pilot’s lives). I’ve so far listened to probably a dozen of your podcasts and YouTube clips dating back to mid last year, (2016), so I have no idea whether you’re still pursuing this type of coaching as your new vocation so I’ll no doubt discover this as I slowly get through the rest as my busy family life and job permit. Nevertheless, I’m impressed with your coaching style and how you get the message across. After listening to your podcasts in the car on the way to and from work, it’s kind of inspired me to write a little of my story. Now I have no idea whether it would ever be read, or in fact whether it would be of any use to anyone like yourself, (as these stories must be ten a penny), and it wouldn’t bother me if it wasn’t - I’m writing it more as an exercise for me to bring it all back, and to allow me to then learn more from it. If you did want to read it, it’s not that long so bear with it............................Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/fast-jet-performance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


4 Oct 2017

Rank #14

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Don't Die at Work - How to Banish Boredom and Anxiety

​Uniformed Police Officers, wearing body armour and carrying Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine guns pulled tightly into their shoulders, stepped silently through the busy supermarket’s doors. It was a hot and humid July day on the south coast of England; people were going about their weekly shop and the smell of cheap sunscreen hung lazily in the air. The store’s tannoy was calling for someone to help at the checkouts and people were busying themselves taking items from the shelves and placing them into their baskets. Some of the shoppers who saw the two men enter, stopped and just stared - their eyes following their movement with a sense of foreboding curiosity; others seemed oblivious to what was about to happen.  The policemen aimed down their sights - wherever their eyes went, the barrel of the weapon would quickly follow. With each purposeful, yet muted step, they slowly drifted apart as they made their way to the back of the store where their target had last been reported. People would later report a strange sense of calm that accompanied the men, a professionalism or a seemingly innate confidence. They would also later note that these men were not as young as they would have expected; these guys must have been in their forties, their grey hair complimenting their darkened and sun-wrinkled skin. ‘STAND STILL! STAND STILL!’, came the shout from the first Officer as he focused his weapon on a young man holding a box of breakfast cereal. ‘SHOW ME YOUR HANDS! BOTH HANDS! DROP THE BOX AND SHOW ME YOUR HANDS!’, demanded the second man.Weebly referral code... WE BOTH SAVE!!!https://www.weebly.com/r/7Z3QEBSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/fast-jet-performance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


22 Nov 2019

Rank #15

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'Hit the Target, Don't Get Shot Down' - On Goals and Life

​​'Wolf 3 defends SA-11 bearing 020!' came the call from the back pair of our low-level 4-ship of Tornado GR4 bombers.   Our formation had stumbled upon the enemy Air Defences and they were not happy to be disturbed over their lunch hour.   'Well, there it is!' proclaimed my Navigator confirming what we'd both been expecting; 'I told you they'd get themselves killed!' he laughed.   I chuckled with him as I hugged the valley floor, pressing on towards our target which was now only 2 minutes flying time away.   'Wolf 4 defending SA-8 bearing 270, egressing to the east!' came a call soon after.   'That's the back pair out, that's not good.' I said, noting that there were just two of us left to hit the target.   We thundered on as low as we dared, trying to use the undulating terrain for cover. The wind over the hills buffeted our 26 tonne war machine making it hard to plot the enemy's systems onto my kneeboard.   'Mike,' I called, 'I've got an SA-6 looking at us right 2 o'clock - make it go away.'   Our Radar Warning Receiver was displaying the familiar lines associated with a particularly aggressive Surface to Air Missile system. I pushed the throttles forward marching the speed up towards 500 mph in an attempt to progress us away from the threat.   'That 6 wasn't in the brief,' he replied, 'Come left 30 degrees to put him on the beam.'   http://www.fastjetperformance.com/podcasts/hit-the-target-dont-get-shot-down-on-goals-and-lifeSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/fast-jet-performance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

7 Jul 2016

Rank #16

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The 90% Solution, Some Guy Called 'Pareto' and Why the Best Air Combat Pilots are Often Seen as the Laziest

The 90% solution, some guy called 'Pareto' and why the best air combat pilots are often seen as the laziest.It became apparent to me during my last tour that a lot of the effort that I put into my work was inefficient. I remember speaking to a senior officer whilst I was deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan with the US Army and she said - 'you have to just get the work out of the door as complete as you can - I aim for the 90% solution'. In the military we have to be as efficient as possible because we work with taxpayer's money and there is a lot of work to be done. The workload on some postings can be quite extreme and I have had tours that are no exception; I have worked genuine 12 to 16 hour days in my career for 5 days a week (or 7 days a week on ops, which, of course, is entirely to be expected). Now, I get that people in civilian life also work long hours (and rightly so if combined with the appropriate remuneration) but when you have long hours mixed in with flying a £20 million aircraft twice a day - that's when you realise the value of the 90% solution.Life-saver. Fact.So, here's the deal. Your boss sends you a document attachment on email. Firstly, it is quite good to remind people that email is 'email' and not 'immediate' mail - sometimes you aren't able to respond within 20 minutes (especially when I'm flying). Maybe put in your signature block something that says that you only look at email at 1100 and 1600 and then get yourself involved in really connecting with people like talking to them face to face over some tea, maybe. So, you have the document from the boss and he's asked you to précis it for him before tomorrow; the issue being that when you open the document you realise that it's a 100 page long freaking nightmare and it's 'late o'clock'. The 90% solution means that you don't bother with a detailed read, just skim-read it and get it back out; don't invest too much time on it as the truth is your boss won't either. Unless you are an artist with a significant amount of time to wallow in your own narcissistic indulgences, you will probably find it hard to accommodate all of the tasks you have to complete. One of the major issues of the modern workplace is that it is full of bosses that do two things: they accept every tasking from higher authority without reservation and they delegate far too expeditiously and without restriction. We'd all probably do the same in their position too but, as a worker, we need to have a system that can get that work done without the 12 hour days - and the 90% solution is just that. If you have the same routine task coming in every so often you can make it into a simplified process and write it down. For instance, when the squadron was first starting up we had 3 or 4 VIP visits per month. This became totally overwhelming and young instructors that should have been perfecting their core skills in the air found themselves writing instructions for the visits - a time-consuming task. The instructors soon found similarities in these visits and started to develop processes to ease their workload. They made a template that had everything necessary for every visit already completed; all they had to add were the names, dates and times, print it out and send it. They got very efficient in achieving the small amount of work that really mattered to deliver the 90% solution. They were then able to go flying again which made them more confident and experienced - two essential requirements for keeping young jet pilots alive.This leads me on to another core principle that has saved me a huge amount of time over my career - the 80/20 or 'Pareto' Principle. 'The Pareto Principle states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes' - WikiThe Pareto Principle was first defined by an Italian economist called Vilfredo Pareto who, in 1896, recognised that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population; he was at university and being all creative like academics are sometimes. In some businesses it is found that 20% of sales account for 80% of profit, that 20% of motorists account for 80% of accidents and 80% of a company's complaints come from 20% of its customers! If you can identify the 20% of the work that you do that causes 80% of the results then you can use the remainder of your working time more efficiently thus saving considerable time and effort. For example, when you go into work, you probably have a list of tasks in mind that you need to complete that day and you probably allocate time for them all (even subconsciously - ie. I'll do that phone call at midday for 30 mins etc). What the Pareto Principle says is to look at your day and find the core tasks that are the most important to achieving the biggest outcomes and hit them hard, putting the other tasks to the bottom of the list. By doing so you will achieve 80% of what you are supposed to achieve. One good way of proving this theory is to just not do a low level task that you have been assigned and see if anyone notices - chances are that the task was a throw away comment from your boss and will be forgotten about in a day or two anyway. So, if we apply the law and look at what we do that really achieves the most of our outcomes we might be able to free up time to invest in relationships - maybe talking face to face with people instead of 'immediate mailing' sorry, emailing. So, why are some of the best air combat pilots also the laziest? Remember the 80/20 Principle and the 90% solution that we just heard about - well, some jet pilots are just pretty good at applying those two techniques. You see, to get from the top 10% of high performing people to the top 1% actually requires little extra effort. This is because those in the top 10% become extremely comfortable and are happy to stay in the top 10%. If you want to get into the top 1% you have to 'stretch' yourself and 'stretching' just isn't very 'comfortable'. What the best air combat pilots realise is that sometimes it is easy to get stuck in 'analysis paralysis' or 'trapped in lag' to use some fighter pilot jargon. When you analyse too much you can get bogged down - you start looking at, and investing your time in, the minutiae. So what the best pilots do is look for the 20% of what they do that will give them 80% of the return. Incidentally, on my aircraft in 1v1 air combat the 20% that gets me 80% of the results is the following:Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/fast-jet-performance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

19 Apr 2015

Rank #17

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Why I Quit the Greatest Job in the World - The Curse of the Bovril Snail

‘Well, that's the flying done.’ I thought, as the jet slowly rolled to a stop. And, as I moved the throttle to the closed position, I knew it would be the last time I ever flew a fighter jet. I opened the canopy and, as the engine wound down and took the generator offline, my screens turned black. I could see the crowd walking out from the Squadron carrying the fire extinguishers with which to spray me, just like I’d done to many of my pilots before and yet, I felt little emotion. I had a last look around; it was a familiar and comfortable environment but one I knew could have killed me at any moment. Like the family dog you think you know well, right up until it bites you. But, I hadn’t been bitten. I’d flown these machines for many years and by luck, judgement and the work of some exceptional engineers, I’d brought them all back home. Nope, it all looked good - I stood up on the ejection seat and stepped outside to meet those who had come out to celebrate the end to my twenty years in military fast jet aviation. I didn’t regret a thing. ​ http://www.fastjetperformance.com/podcasts/why-i-quit-the-greatest-job-in-the-world-the-curse-of-the-bovril-snailSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/fast-jet-performance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


14 Nov 2017

Rank #18

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Why 99% of People Don’t EVER GET What They Want

What would you say if I said you could be anything you wanted to be, right now?Today.A famous movie actress, an award-winning scientist or a sports star who just got signed to their favourite team?All you have to do, is choose. Now, imagine you’ve been invited over to a friend’s house for dinner. You check your diary – you’re free that night and some of your buddies are going too, so you accept. As the night approaches, you think about what to wear, how you are getting there and who you might know. The night arrives, you turn up and thank your friend for the invite. They introduce you to the room and it turns out you know most of the people there. Food comes out, you all chat away merrily and eventually everyone leaves the table to carry on in the lounge.You nip to the kitchen to fill your glass and when you return, you find yourself briefly without anyone to talk to. Just then, a young lady approaches and asks what you do...Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/fast-jet-performance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


17 Dec 2019

Rank #19

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How To Go Shopping in Enemy Territory

Today we talk about minimising outings, planning a shopping trip and how to brief it. Don't be a statistic, you only have to make one mistake and you will have exposed yourself - stay safe! (20 mins)Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/fast-jet-performance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


6 Apr 2020

Rank #20