THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

A Podcast interview with Captain Dave Rogers – Leadership – the view from 39,000 feet


One of my resolutions this year was to constantly carry around with me a digital recorder so that, when the opportunity arose, I could capture interviews with fascinating people.

During a recent weekend break in England’s verdant South East I was motivated to sit down in the dining room of a holiday farmhouse after a sumptuous artisan breakfast and chat to a good friend who has no connection at all to the world of dentistry – but from whom we can all learn.

Dave Rogers retired 6 years ago after a 36-year career in the air, originally as a bush pilot in the frozen North but most of those years with Air Canada, becoming one of their longest-serving and most senior long-haul officers.

We met nearly 10 years ago, when we took a catamaran out into the Caribbean and spent a memorable 10 days exploring the British Virgin Islands – a trip that we have repeated twice since. Dave and Pam have become good friends.

In this impromptu interview, I ask Dave some searching questions about the role of Captain of a huge engineering miracle, the Boeing 777, making its way across the Pacific with 300+ people, whose safety was his primary responsibility.

We explore the subject of leadership as it applies to fellow flight officers as well as the flight attendants, who he may only meet at the beginning and end of the flight, but whose loyalty has to be earned.

Dave talks eloquently about how to earn the respect of one’s team and also shares a few hair-raising tales about how to deal with emergencies.

The metaphors for those of us in business are obvious and it is a refreshing change to hear some sage advice from a wise man with no agenda.


Episode Length: 36 minutes 59 seconds

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