We need heroes, and I thought maybe the US Airways pilot who so skillfully landed his Airbus A320 in the Hudson River on January 16 would fit the bill.
We've read about his courage/bravery/skill/heroics in saving over 150 lives that afternoon. All of us watched as pictures were released, showing patient passengers standing on the wings waiting for the first responders to respond.
If you were like me, I'll bet you kept one eye on the TV that night, hoping that Anderson Cooper would track down the pilot and help us understand how one simple man could do such things. "And he walked the aisles TWICE after everyone exited the plane, making sure no one was left behind!!"
But no. We heard the pilot's union was preventing Captain Sully from answering questions while the NTSB investigated the accident. As I said in my home blog, this would be like the NFL not allowing Tom Brady to speak to reporters after the Super Bowl, so they could review the films to make sure he played well.
US Airways should have known better. Remember this is the airline that has filed for bankruptcy twice (in 2002 and 2004), saw 72,000 claims of lost or damaged bags over the holiday season a few years ago, and last year was the first airline to charge for coffee, tea or water.
The half life of American heroes is fairly short, and the pilots, airlines, first responders, ferry boat operators, even the tug boat pilots, all could use a bit of the positive rub-off of Captain Sully’s exposure.
I knew that if he could, he would have spoken eloquently about doing his duty, his team of coworkers, the great people of New York and how, “Aw shucks, it was nothing, I was just doing what I have been trained to do. Anyone would have done the same thing."
We need to hear that phrase--that any of us would have done that. It would be a shame if he is being managed, or mismanaged. Just watch his interview on 60 Minutes on February 8th, I hope he is not being overcoached. We like our heroes natural, forthright, honest, humble and even a bit awkward.
G.L. Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. Two of his companies have traveled the entire success path from the garage to IPO. Currently, he is chairman of JobDig , and his blog can be found at WhatWouldDadSay.com or at JobDig.com.