How Your Leadership Can Soar with a Pre-Flight Checklist

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When you started your day today, did you go through your leadership checklist?

Effective leaders are like airline pilots. Before taking off, a pilot will go through an extensive checklist to ensure that the plane is fully prepared and equipped for the journey ahead.

Only when the pilot is satisfied that this meticulous safety list has been checked off will they allow the plane to be pushed back from the gate.

In the same way effective leaders would do well to start each day running down a thorough checklist to ensure their leadership will be maximized that day.

What should be on that checklist?

That depends on what kind of leader you aspire to be.

For me, these are the kinds of items that appear on my leadership checklist.

Today I will do everything possible to be a leader who is:


  • I want my leadership to be “others-focused”

√  Decisive

  • I want today’s decisions to be unwavering


  • I want my team to know I am available


  • I want to give my team the gift of absolute clarity


  • I want to pursue our goals with gusto


  • I want to willingly and openly share my time, ideas and resources


  • I want my team to feed off my hoped-filled outlook


  • I want to build a culture that draws others in


  • I want to diligently develop rising leaders over the long-haul


  • I want to be transparent and authentic

The point is, no one ever drifted into being a leader of character. No one ever accidentally discovered that they were becoming clearer, more authentic or more decisive.

To move towards these qualities starts with a daily commitment to increasingly incorporate these qualities into your leadership.

So try developing your “pre-flight checklist”.

It could be one tool to help your leadership really take off.

What’s on your leadership pre-flight checklist?

the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Global Leadership Network. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave, Willow & Olive and John, Fiona & Will. Lifelong learner.

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