Are You a Cheerleader or a Wingman?

By Rob “Waldo” Waldman, Lt. Col., CSP

The Wingman Philosophy is all about mutual support. It involves creating an environment where your associates, partners, and significant others can approach you and give you the feedback you may not want to hear, but need to hear.

To be a wingman, you not only have be approachable and open to criticism; but also have the courage to give feedback that may put the relationship at risk in order to do what’s right for your company, customers, and team.

For example, even though I may be good friends with a fellow pilot, if they did something dangerous on a flight and/or put the safety of the formation at risk, then they were going to get some tough feedback!

Being a wingman is not about being a cheerleader. Sure, encouragement is important (especially in adverse times,) but sometimes we have to be willing to bruise someone’s ego and give them feedback that may sting.

My good friend Terry Brock, CSP, CPAE and I had lunch last week discussing this subject. Terry is an amazing speaker and technology wizard. But he is also an absolute expert at creating sustainable relationships (he actually coined the term “R-Commerce” {Relationship Commerce.}

Terry knows that no matter how much technology we have at our disposal, it’s the relationship that truly serves as the conduit to getting things done and accomplishing our goals.

Watch this short video and let me know what you think.

How does being a wingman show up in your life? What can you do to be more approachable?

Feel free to share your thoughts below and forward this to a wingman you care about.


One Response to “Are You a Cheerleader or a Wingman?”

  1. studebaker says:

    I have attended and given the opportunity to take a 1 year course on Leadership and Supervisory skills last 2008-2009 by ILM-UK.
    I can sum-up the course into a a two-word definition…to build GOOD RELATIONSHIP

    This is the very essence of we are going to interact between people, groups, that would create a harmony and understanding each.

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