Sully Sullenberger and Self Confidence

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					?Chesley B. 'Sully' Sullenberger III is a hero. I'm sure you know by now that he safely
landed a US Airways Airbus A320 with 155 passengers and crew on board on the
Hudson River last Thursday. And then walked the cabin ' twice ' to make sure no one
was on board before he left the aircraft. Everybody survived. It's a pretty amazing
story.

When I watched the news coverage that night, I thought, 'There's a man who is totally
confident in his skills as a pilot.'

Self confidence is one of the keys to success that I discuss in Straight Talk for Success.
If you want to become self confident you need to do three things: 1) become an
optimist; 2) face your fears and act, and 3) surround yourself with positive people.

Sully Sullenberger certainly exemplifies the first two of these traits.

However, I believe there is one other thing that contributed to Sully's confidence in
his ability to land a plane on a river: preparation. Since 1980, He has been a pilot with
US Airways. He has trained pilots, helped streamline passenger service, led efforts to
improve safety at airports, aided the National Transportation Safety Board in
investigating accidents and co-wrote a technical paper with NASA on crew
decision-making errors. Before joining US Airways, he was a fighter pilot. He
graduated from the US Air Force Academy.

He is the former safety chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association, and is a visiting
scholar at the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management at the University of
California, Berkeley. The research center studies natural and man-made disasters from
floods to airplane crashes.

I wouldn't want to be on a plane that had to ditch in a river, but if I had to be, I'd want
Sully Sullenberger to be the pilot. He was as prepared as anyone to do the job.

He was prepared because of his training, over 40 years of flying experience and his
outside work and continuing education. From what I can tell, Sully Sullenberger
knows as much or more about flying, decision making in stressful situations and
airplane accidents as any else. He was prepared to do something incredibly difficult
when the time came. He acted in a calm and confident manner.

We can all take a lesson from Sully Sullenberger. No matter what you do, the more
prepared you are, the more confident you will be in your ability to handle routine
matters and the occasional crisis.

An early mentor used to always tell me, 'Bud, preparation makes up for a lack of
talent.' In Sully Sullenberger's case preparation enhanced his prodigious flying talent.
The common sense point here is simple. Successful people are self confidence.
Preparation enhances self confidence. When you anticipate and mentally rehearse
what you'll do when you find yourself in a difficult situation, you'll have the
confidence to act swiftly and surely when you find yourself in that situation. Just ask
Sully Sullenberger. You can't prepare for very possible contingency, but you can
identify likely problems and opportunities and prepare for them in advance. Doing so
will improve not only your confidence, it will improve your performance under
pressure.

				
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posted:5/4/2011
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