Crew Admittance Only

Hopping on a plane to Santa Barbara earlier this week, I noted the plethora of signs delineating where various categories of people could go. World Pass members may trod upon the gold fiber carpet here, Economy Class dregs pile their chicken crates there, Airport Staff Lounge, Arrivals, Departures, you name it, there’s an authorized area in which identified sub-groups may inhabit. The area that called out most alluringly to me was labeled Crew Admittance Only.


We all know what that means. Behind this door resides the group of people in whose hands we put our lives as the jumbo jet lifts into the air and roars across the skies. Wearing pressed uniforms, polished shoes, and no nonsense expressions, their calm eyes reassure us that our trust in them is well founded; we are safe. This is a Crew we can rely on to do their best for us while we’re together. All is well. As a slightly nervous flier myself, that means a great deal to me. Which got me thinking…


If I were the Captain, who’d be on my Crew?



Who are the five or so people that you would select for your Crew Admittance Only designation? What I mean by this is of all the people you have known throughout your life, whether alive or dead, who would you want to serve in your cockpit? This may or may not include your parents, your children, your siblings or spouses. But, for purposes of this exercise, they have to be someone you know—no Superman or Wonder Woman fantasy business. When you think about it, it might come as a shock that our crew might not include those the world would define as “closest” to us. I think there are a lot of us out there who would find that some on our “close friends and family” list wouldn’t make it into our metaphorical cockpit. Does that mean they are bad, weak people or that we don’t love them? No, it does not. It simply clarifies who we believe we can turn to and rely on when the situation requires. What is it about each of your cockpit crew that you value you much? Why have they made your list? Fortunately, because most of life is not a crisis, we can enjoy and cherish all sorts of people who we wouldn’t invite to step behind the Crew door—and that’s ok. There’s only so much space back there.


The purpose of this exercise is to elucidate in our minds who we most value in times of crisis or great need. For those of you who feel somewhat anxious about this exercise or who worry that our answers may somehow betray certain people we love, take succor from the fact that most of life is lived and enjoyed beyond the door. Remember, the plane’s only purpose is to transport us; having arrived, we don’t just sit in that confined space with our crew. Of course not! We want to de-board, to feel the sunshine on our face, to run around and get busy in this new location. What makes it interesting is all the other people, the non-crew members, we get to see.


Now, remember when I asked you to define the qualities each of your crew members has that made you pick them? What I want you to think about is how you can cultivate in yourself those very same attributes. If you admire their decisiveness, build up the confidence that precedes being decisive. If you admire their calm, channel that. You love their ability to make things funny, search out the ridiculous, yourself. Whatever it is about your Crew, see if you might nurture those qualities internally. With a team like yours, the sky’s the limit.



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One Response to “Crew Admittance Only”

  1. grasshopper Says:


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