Monday evening I was fortunate to have the opportunity to sit in on a session in an executive program for a major energy company. The speaker was Bertrand Piccard, who completed the first transglobal balloon trip. I had seen his balloon at the National Air & Space Museum, where my mother works, so I was intrigued to meet this adventurer.
His talk was very interesting. The first theme was leadership of teams against difficult goals, a subject near and dear to my heart. The second theme was leadership and decision-making when you have little control over external factors. In a balloon, for example, you can change altitude but you have no steering control and you certainly can’t control the weather. By recognizing that which you cannot control and focusing on what you can (adjusting altitude to take advantage of different wind directions and weather patterns), you will be maximally effective. The talk finished with a brilliant photo montage accompanied by “Let It Be.”
Bertrand is now focusing on a new project: Solar Impulse, a 100% solar-powered plane to go around the world. I wish him great success, as such projects will inspire people. Many thanks to the most sophisticated woman at IMD, who was instrumental in helping me finagle an invitation to the session.