Big better best -never let it rest.
Sitting in an F-14 fighter cockpit on the tarmac at the US Naval Base Norfolk Virginia was a privileged unforgettable experience. A unique empowering feel holding the controls while absorbing instrumentation, lines of toggle and push-button switches and accompanying warning-signs.

Adrenaline without fear ignited a momentary left foot tap-dance on the cockpit floor. The seat harness felt like a familiar heavy leather jacket littered with titanium buckles and adjusters waiting ready to strap secure its cargo. Aside from the feel there was heady smell. A mix of exotic materials in the confined space, an electrical odour, jet- fuel and blended fabric weaves that upholstered the pilot ejection seat.

Ejection seats that  blast the pilot clear of a stricken aircraft with spine crushing 3G’s of acceleration. I sat soaking it all in. The feel the smell. A confidence that this machine was planned, built to specific tolerance with defined capability and intended outcome. I had read sections of the Classified Operations Manual, the document that articulated performance settings, operations, tactics and emergency procedures. I identified the orange levers to activate pilot-seat ejection. This attack aircraft was a proven package with formidable competitive advantage performance.

Start switch off-on, fuel pumps on, hydraulic pump check, instrument calibration.

Ready for action.
“What do you think of my office Rod” inquired my uncle, U S Naval Commander and fighter-pilot Henri Bertram Chase 111. A decorated real-life Top Gun. His steely eye to eye stare and beaming smile appearing atop the cockpit boarding ladder. “you have gotta think big if you wanta land this baby onto an aircraft carrier at midnight” he charmed.

He paused, refocused with precision accuracy adding

“I appreciate you-all deciding to return home and pass-by doing college here for starting business in Australia……you gotta do what you see from the inside….You gotta think big and you gotta not get buried by the fears that will come…. or the study commitment and planning it will take to master whatever you choose to do in life …. need your plan to  land upright at midnight – you know what I’m saying here son”.

Precise advice for life and business. Thinking is just the beginning, need to plan – take action.
As for uncle Henri, he was promoted Commander Air Group (CAG) to US Navy Rear Admiral and  later spent time at the Pentagon.

article by Business Sauce appeared in Business Matters magazine