Jet fighters fly in fours, and each four-jet formation has a leader who holds life-and-death responsibility for the formation. Once in a great while, during a complicated aerial maneuver, an entire formation of four jets will crash. That’s because the second, third and fourth jets are ‘flying the leader’s wings’, and will follow the number-one jet anywhere – even into the ground.
So the leaders must adopt a ‘think for number four’ mindset: Before they make a move, they have to consider how it will affect the other jets in the formation. Managers would be wise to adopt the same mindset: Before making a decision, think how it will affect everyone in your department – all of your ‘number fours’.
(from Life and Work: A Manager’s Search for Meaning by James A. Autry)
How do you think about your Number Fours?
"We take eagles and teach them
to fly in formation."
- Wayne Callaway