A fighter pilot's secret to peak performance
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Upbeat music plays.
Onscreen text: A fighter pilot’s secret to peak performance
Anthony Bourke appears onstage with his presentation projected on a screen behind him. He raises his hand.
Anthony: Anyone remember where you were the morning of September 11, 2001? It's instant, isn't it?
So there I was the morning of September 11, 2001. CEO of my own business, F-16 pilot in the Reserves. I'd spent the previous 15 years of my career training and preparing for how I was going to deploy my F-16 thousands of miles away, and suddenly September 11th hits, and my world changes like that.
F-16 jets fly over an ocean sunset in a photograph.
Whether it was the week I spent in New York, or the nine months when we were flying homeland defense over the skies of California, every day I came into the squadron it felt like there was some new intelligence briefing. This is the power of the training and the standardization that you can plug and play people anywhere in the world in the most demanding circumstances and get them up to speed and executing at a high level very quickly. So, I want to introduce to you what I call the Feedback Loop of regular briefing and debriefing.
A circle flow chart labeled “Mission” appears onscreen, with “Brief” at the top of the circle and “Debrief” at the bottom. Anthony is now speaking from a seat in his living room.
Whether you're a financial advisor, whether you're a wealth manager, whether you're in retirement services, the fighter pilot principle of a feedback loop will apply in all aspects of your business.
I can almost guarantee you that if you will make time to brief and debrief, not only will you improve your execution, you'll improve your client results, and I think you'll grow your practice.
Anthony returns to speaking from the stage at a presentation.
Onscreen text: Briefing
When fighter pilots get ready to fight any kind of mission, whether it's a one-hour training mission or a six-hour combat mission, even though we've been preparing for these missions for hours, or in many cases, we've been preparing for these missions for days, just before we get ready to take off, fighter pilots always sit down and hold a briefing.
Briefing is the time when the preparation stops and the execution starts. When we're briefing, the plan is fully baked, and we are now shifting gears to say, "Here's how we're going to execute the plan."
Think about a quarterback in the huddle. "We've been practicing this thing all week. Here's the play, here's how I want you to execute, here's when we're going to start, here's what we're going to do if it doesn't go right. Ready, break. Let's make it happen."
So in my world as goes the briefing, so goes the mission. I would argue in your world as goes the briefing, so goes your day, so goes your week, so go your meetings, and certainly so go your client events.
Anthony is again speaking from his living room.
Onscreen text: Debriefing
Debrief assumes the fact that no fighter pilot has ever flown the perfect mission. And I think it's fair to say that there's never an advisor that's going to have the perfect day, week, or meeting.
In a fighter squadron, debriefing time is standard. We always debrief 30 minutes after the last airplane lands. And this is an important point, because so often I think debrief gets skipped because it wasn't built into the plan of the meeting.
For advisors, I believe the best practice is immediately following the meeting, you move into the conference room next door and just hold a 10-minute debrief to talk about what worked, what didn't, and how we can do just a little bit better or differently next time.
Debrief is not a performance review; debrief is quite simply a sacred learning environment. A debrief is a really wonderful way to create clarity and transparency in any business.
By applying the Feedback Loop in advisory business, you will find that you develop a culture of continuous improvement. Never resting on our laurels, always finding a way to get better. By standardizing the way you do business, by not having to reinvent the wheel every time, I think you'll find that you're operating in a much clearer environment. Your team is much more aligned and understanding of how you're trying execute.
Building briefing and debriefing into your business will definitely fuel a culture of excellence and help with a purpose-driven, motivated workforce.
Onscreen text: Implement the feedback loop technique in your practice with briefing and debriefing worksheets for financial professionals. Available exclusively through Charles Schwab Investment Management. Call 877-824-5615.
Charles Schwab Investment Management. With a straightforward lineup of core products and solutions for building the foundation of a portfolio, Charles Schwab Investment Management advocates for investors of all sizes with a steadfast focus on lowering costs and reducing unnecessary complexity.
The MISSION 360 program is for educational purposes only, and implementation of the program does not guarantee future results for the advisors or clients.
Anthony Bourke and Mach 2 Consulting are not employed by or affiliated with Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. (CSIM) or its parent company The Charles Schwab Corporation (Charles Schwab). The views expressed by Major Bourke may not necessarily reflect those of CSIM or Charles Schwab and its other affiliates.
©2018 Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. All rights reserved.
With MISSION 360, you'll learn how elite fighter pilots use a simple briefing and debriefing process known as the Feedback Loop. While financial professionals may not fly tactical missions into combat like a fighter pilot, you can apply these same techniques to execute on key missions that are critical to your practice.