I have had the pleasure of working with the staff at the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation in Pensacola, Florida.  Nearly 1 million people visit the museum every year. It is an amazing place full of military aviation history.  Every month that I am there I learn more about the heroism of top gun pilots and also have the pleasure of watching the amazing Blue Angels practice.

How do they do it?  Flying 650 mph, 6 inches off each other’s wings for 43 minutes at a time.

To find out I interviewed six former Top Gun pilots.  What was their secret?  What did they know that I could teach to development officers?  I listened to story after story.  I learned how they are trained. How they debrief after every flight.  I even learned how they strap themselves in before a flight. And then retired top gun pilot Rear Admiral Benny Suggs gave me what I was looking for…the secret sauce, “Bill, it is all about the canopy.  When we get strapped in and the canopy is lowered around us, we are in a place of total concentration.  We know our mission. We have reviewed our assignment.  We are totally focused. Our lives depend on there being no distractions.”

There was the lesson to pass on: NO DISTRACTIONS.  I began to think about my offices over the years.  I bought into the open door policy too often.  I thought about all the times I would be working on a project and would be interrupted by a phone call, a staff member, a ding on my computer, and every time it diverted me from total concentration.  Can a development professional have a place to go for 43 minutes with no distractions?  

Email me to learn about the new CANOPY Space for development officers.  I promise you will increase your productivity substantially.

Horizontal Lesson:   Development offices are full of distractions.

Vertical Lesson: Compartmentalize your schedule in concentration blocks…eliminate distractions!

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