Missy Lee, CEO Floats & Skis Inc. in Alaska, grew up in an aviation business in Alaska and spent a lot of time in the air with her father, Don Lee, one of the best-known bush pilots in the United States.

She was always a curious child and was constantly asking him questions about the instruments on the plane. Missy Lee was dying to know what it all meant. Don Lee never told her. Instead, he said, “You are a visual pilot, focus on your horizon. The view from the plane tells you everything you need to know. You have to learn to feel how the plane flies.” By the way, very typical of pilots and women pilots in Alaska.

Missy Lee was almost a little embarrassed then, as a true “aviation kid,” when she started training for her private pilot’s license and didn’t yet know anything about the instruments in the airplane. In her early years of flying, there were moments when she was fixated on the instruments and the airplane didn’t do what she wanted it to do. In part because she didn’t follow her father’s first piece of advice, “Focus on your horizon.”

Missy Lee Lecture Topics

  • FOCUS – Focus on your horizon and your goals.
  • DETAILS – It’s the details that matter: Know your business cockpit and don’t get bogged down in the daily grind
  • LEADERSHIP – Expect the unexpected: With intuition & trust you can manage even difficult tasks
  • DECISIONS – Not making decisions is not an option
  • TRUE NORTH STAR JOURNEY – Develop your vision and purpose

Aircraft instruments provide information on many important details: fuel gauge, oil pressure, oil temperature, compass, radio frequency, airspeed, altitude, altimeter, tachometer, boost pressure, cylinder temperature, fuses, etc. Larger aircraft are even more complex and usually have even more instruments and information from them. It is important to know and pay close attention to these details. However, as long as they don’t really help you in the moment and tend to distract you from the essentials, it can also get very confusing and there is a high risk of getting lost in small-scale navigation.

Achieve your goals: The True North Star Story

In the daily grind of business, it’s easy to get bogged down in the details and information overload of everyday life. There are so many decisions to make in a day that it can be overwhelming and exhausting. The instruments on the plane represent the details. Are they important? Absolutely! Can they overwhelm you and distract you from the big picture? Absolutely!

So how can I be a safe, alert and competent pilot, paying attention to the horizon and everything else that needs to be monitored, and still be focused on the “Bigger Picture”?

You have to have a clear point of view. That focal point is outside the aircraft and in the business world, for example, is the Vision, the Purpose, the True North Star, which is bigger than all the little navigation tasks. So never forget where you want to go and strive for as a person, as a team and as an organization. Today, Missy Lee runs her own aviation company as CEO in one of the most exciting and adventurous pilots’ paradises: Alaska. Alaska is beautiful, but it’s also a tough and challenging place to live and do business.

#clearedtoland – Learning from Pilots

One of the missions of their company, Alaska Floats and Skis @ AK8, is to make aviation a safer industry. They do this by offering a variety of training and flight courses, as well as running a flight instructor course to positively impact the industry with highly qualified, well trained flight instructors. They provide customized training and education to pilots from all over the world.

For Missy Lee personally, her son is her focus and he regularly drives her success. When she feels frustrated by daily tasks, she always reminds herself to be grateful that she gets to live in Alaska and give her son the opportunity to fly and live an adventurous life in such a unique place.

Missy Lee: Replace the word “must” with “may.”

For example, “I have to do payroll” can change to: “I get to do payroll.” Make your work something you are grateful for and look forward to. And not an obligation In the best case scenario, make it your passion!

Learn to scan and always refocus. To keep your focus on the horizon, you can scan the tools regularly and then refocus on the big picture. Is your job to review your business budget, make your employees feel valued and get payroll done on time? These are all important issues to deal with and complete on a daily basis. But yet, it is important to always keep in mind the bigger picture, the Mission, the Purpose, our True North Star that we strive for and that should be known and clear to the entire organization.

Learn to trust your intuition even in business life.

Missy Lee: With experience, the ability to manage all aspects of flying will eventually open up to you. There is nothing that can replace experience.

“Fresh” pilots are often overwhelmed, disoriented, stressed and confused when they don’t understand all the components that work together for harmonious flight operations. However, as they gain experience, they become accustomed to all the new information and begin to use it to their advantage. It’s the same in business and in all other aspects of life. Good pilots can tell you what the instruments are showing without even looking at them because they are looking at the horizon and feeling the plane!

In business, too, always pay close attention to your intuition.

Also, have a mission and vision, always scan and refocus, avoid small-scale navigation and continuously gather new experience. Concentrate on your point of view on the horizon and never lose sight of your “Why”, your “Purpose”, your “TRUE NORTH STAR”.