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MAINTENANCE MINUTE By Mark Tyler STRETCH AND GROW!


It all began with a motivational poster bought from the trunk of a car. That poster hung on my bedroom wall for years, positioned so it would be the last thing I saw before going to sleep and the first thing I saw upon waking (no, I was not married at the time).


These are the seven words I saw and contemplated multiple times every day: “Change Your Thoughts and Change Your World.”


Living in a culture that teaches us what to think but not how to think made this challenge a little more difficult, but day by day, little by little, these words began a process of change within me that is still happening today. These same affirmations are true for me professionally. When I look inside my toolbox, I find more than enough wrenches and ratchets for the nuts and bolts. But what about the essential tools? In previous articles we discussed the essential tools of integrity, commitment, communication, and customer service. Let’s take a few minutes to look at the essential tool of personal and professional growth.


When asked about recruiting talented five- star football players, Alabama Coach Nick Saban once responded, “Just because you have the prettiest puppy in the litter, doesn’t mean he will hunt. He has to be developed.” It has been my particularly good fortune in my career to work for


companies that believe in training. Many of those companies made time and financial commitments to continuing education and further development of mechanics and pilots. Finding those types of companies became an important part of my decision- making in career moves. But personal development, which is equally important, usually fell on me.


It takes commitment and effort to develop personally and become a leader and an influencer. In January 2016 my friend Mack Story, cofounder of Blue-Collar Leadership, challenged me to stretch myself. I gave the challenge serious consideration before accepting it, because I understood that such a challenge would require sacrifice and discipline. Mack explained and I understood that sacrifice and discipline would equal growth. Accepting Mack’s challenge was a catalyst of sorts, and I continue to find new levels of achievement in my personal and professional life as a result of that choice. Yes, sacrifice and discipline are still required of me every day.


Setting aside time each day to read an inspiring book or blog is one way to personal growth. In Mack’s recent book “Blue-Collar Leadership & Teamwork,” he outlines 10 characteristics of a leader: be growth oriented, be trustworthy, be humble, be responsible, be positive, be flexible, be focused, be disciplined, be intentional, and be driven. Choosing just one of these goals each day and moving toward growth


in that area will keep you advancing on the road to personal and professional growth. Finally, Mack also says, “When you grow yourself, you grow your influence.”


I believe it is our responsibility as veteran mechanics and pilots to be a part of growing the next generation of aviation leaders. It is incumbent upon each of us to be better and do better and mentor others to do the same. Making the daily sacrifice to grow as individuals both personally and professionally, even though there is a cost, will help ensure a positive future for the aviation industry. Sacrifice plus discipline equals growth.


The late Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy said, “Winners concentrate on winning. Losers concentrate on getting by.” What are you concentrating on? Where are your thoughts?


Change Your Thoughts and Change Your World.


About the author: Mark Tyler dedicated the majority of his career serving the helicopter EMS community, from base mechanic to director of maintenance. As vice president and general manager of Precision Aircraft Services, Tyler now serves helicopter operators from many sectors including air ambulance, law enforcement, private owners, etc. When not at work, Tyler can be found spending time with his family or sitting in a tree stand.


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Mar/Apr 2021


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