It has been called the most dangerous four and a half acres on Earth: the flight deck of a U.S. Navy nuclear aircraft carrier. In a single day, over 200 planes can be launched and landed and prepared again for the next mission. There are turning jet engines, helicopter blades and propellers everywhere, and operations are also conducted in the dead of night! There is no room for error, and the consequences are severe for sub-par performance. If a single person does not do their job correctly, the system grinds to a halt. When the system doesn’t work, the organization, in this case the ship, cannot accomplish its mission.
We talked before about how even pilots get a grade for their daily performance despite already being the best in the world at what they do. However, pilots will be just sitting in their cockpit for hours without the expertise of the ship’s crew. So, how do you train sailors, with an average age of 19, to do their job to the best of their ability. I can give you a hint: it is not by watching PowerPoint presentations and self-study. It is through the use of teams.
If you have never experienced the world of purple shirts, red shirts, blue shirts and other tribes aboard a active aircraft carrier, you owe it to yourself to listen to this HighPer 7 podcast. It will give you an appreciation of why teams are the ultimate tool to produce rainmakers and elite performers.