Lieutenant colonel Rob 'Waldo' Waldman is the kind of wingman that Tom Cruise would have wanted in Top Gun. A former US Air Force fighter pilot, he applies to management the lessons he learned during death-defying combat and training exploits, showing how to turn ordinary colleagues into supportive wingmen.
Waldo argues in Never Fly Solo that the best way for a manager to reach peak performance is to use the support of trusted colleagues. With them, you'll be able "to change and adapt quicker than an F-14". Are you ready to accept the mission?
The chapter entitled "Walk the Flight Line" is all about "connecting with your wingmen" - or, in plain English, getting to know your team and what they do every day. For Waldo, working alongside the maintenance people in the hangar for the day "painted a clear picture of what really went into giving me a jet that was mission-ready." He learned that "a true leader is a servant" and that a leader needs to have influence and command respect - something you gain through your actions: "what you say, how you dress and how you treat others is being judged all day, every day." It's only by appreciating your wingmen that you can be a true top gun.
Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today