While traveling by plane recently, I was reading an article about the statistical likelihood of plane crashes.
I actually found this article very comforting for several reasons. First, a crash event is much less likely when traveling by large commercial jet than by other forms of more common, everyday travel – cars, for instance (as they say, the most dangerous part of air travel is driving to and from the airport).
Moreover, regardless of high-profile headline cases, the likelihood of a crash event in commercial air travel has decreased significantly over the years. This was not because pilots became smarter, or because technology simply improved. It was the direct result of key shifts in pilot training and in-flight protocol.
Previously, a pilot had sole authority on the plane. They made executive decisions at all times, including in times of crisis. One of the key shifts that led to fewer plane crashes was the changing of this unilateral decision-making into a flatter system, where the in-flight crew can also offer input and authority with key information.
With this diffusion of responsibility via a flatter leadership protocol, there comes a system of checks and balances. No one person has to have the best information at any one moment. Rather, the entire team can contribute best thinking.
Key leadership takeaway for entrepreneurs: No one person can or should be expected to know everything. There is no such thing as a monopoly on good ideas.