I was among the millions of people who recently flocked to theaters to watch Top Gun: Maverick. This is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a few years.
My friend Lt. Col. Rob Waldo Waldman is an American author, motivational speaker, leadership consultant, and founder of the Wingman Foundation. He is an award-winning fighter pilot and retired Air Force officer and combat veteran after completing 65 combat missions. He loved the film because it “demonstrates how important it is for us to educate, mentor and guide our young people, despite the challenges and fears.”
Top Gun: Maverick is full of business and life lessons. This film talks a lot about values: values that elevate, inspire and encourage and say “I keep my back, no matter what.”
Among the other core values I took in the film:
Trust – The most important word in business is trust. It takes years to build trust, but only seconds to break down. Trust is essential to doing business with everyone. I can only imagine the level of trust that fighter pilots flying at dizzying speeds and performing mind-boggling maneuvers must have for each other. Lack of trust can mean a life or death situation.
Commitment – No one enters the cockpit of one of these planes without total commitment. When you are committed to something, you do not accept any excuses, only results. Commitment is a prerequisite for success. Engagement is the state of attachment – emotional, intellectual or both – to a course of action. Commitment begins with choice and is maintained by dedication and perseverance.
Courage – it’s easy to be ordinary. Courage is what sets you apart from the crowd. Courage is considered one of the basic human virtues. Courage is courage, bravery, courage and nerves come together. I am not a soldier, a policeman, a doctor or an assistant; I am a businessman. So what does courage have to do with running a business? a lot. I admit that most people’s daily lives are not filled with dramatic Hollywood-style challenges. We all face situations that require us to reach deep within ourselves to do what is right, bold, and sometimes difficult. Courage can involve making decisions that are unpopular or time consuming or even expensive.
Friendship – I have heard this quote many times, including from my good friend Mohammed Ali: “Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It is not something that is learned in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything. “
Difficulties – I have never met a successful person who did not have to overcome a little – or a lot – adversity. The impact and the end result depend on what you do with the difficulties you face. The troubles I went through made me stronger, more fearless, and ultimately more successful.
Perfection – The old adage that practice makes perfection is not true. You have to add one word: Perfect practice makes perfect. It doesn’t matter if you are training a presentation, golfing or jet flying, you want to improve your performance, not repeat mistakes in practice.
Passion – Passion is at the top of the list of skills you need to stand out in any profession. If you do not have a deep, intense, burning desire for what you do, there is no way to work the long, hard hours needed to succeed. However, if you are not very good at what you are passionate about, it will not matter.
Mackay’s moral: As Waldo Waldman puts it: “There is a time and a place to be a Top Gun.”
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Harvey McKay is the author of the New York Times bestseller “Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive.” It can be reached through its website www.harveymackay.com by emailing [email protected] or writing to MackayMitchell Envelope Co., 2100 Elm St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414.