Today on the Leadership Tales Podcast, we look at a leader in a very different field and interview US Air Force F-16 fighter pilot and squadron leader Michelle “MACE” Curran. Michelle is a fascinating leader and author who is inspiring the next generation of pilots and leaders.
What lessons can we learn from someone whose leadership experience stems from a military background, where proper communication and execution can be the difference between life and death? We discuss purposeful practice, psychological safety, admitting failure, and risk, all things that make us better leaders in a business environment.
Michelle also shares about the subduing of leadership authority in the context of the squadron, where more senior-ranking officers still answer to junior wing commanders when they are flying together. I found this fascinating, and think we can all learn a lot from it.
I feel as though I am living out one of my social fantasies interviewing a combat-tested fighter pilot like Michelle, but in another sense, our conversation broke some of the mystique that pop culture has created around fighter pilots (any Top Gun fans out there?) and gave me a look at who these brave and highly skilled individuals are, how they act, and what they actually do on a daily basis.
Michelle MACE Curran on Instagram