January 30 2023
By: Shawn M. Galloway
Almost an hour into an international flight, the airline turned around, likely upsetting all passengers aboard. According to a Virgin Atlantic spokesperson, a "rostering error" led to the airline not complying with its own training protocols requiring the captain to have a trainer status, a requirement that "exceeds industry standards." A UK Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson said, "Both pilots were suitably licensed and qualified to undertake the flight." To Virgin Atlantic, that wasn't good enough.
The return of the Virgin Atlantic flight from London Heathrow Airport to John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, for a crew change likely cost the airline significantly. But this demonstrated to the airline's employees there would not be a compromise to the dedication to exceeding aviation safety standards.
Core values are decision qualifiers. If decisions are not congruent with your values, they are situational values at best. When your leadership demonstrates dedication to safety by lowering other priorities, how well-known is that throughout the company? How newsworthy does it become?
"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently." - Warren Buffet
"Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are." - José Ortega y Gasset
"Values aren't buses… They're not supposed to get you anywhere. They're supposed to define who you are." - Jennifer Cruise
Shawn M. Galloway is CEO of the global consultancy ProAct Safety. He is a trusted advisor, professional keynote speaker, and author of several bestselling books on safety strategy, culture, leadership, and behavior-based safety. He is a monthly columnist for several magazines and one of the most prolific contributors in the industry, having also authored over 700 podcasts, 200 articles, and 100 videos. Shawn has received awards and recognition for his significant contributions from the American Society of Safety Professionals, National Safety Council's Top 40 Rising Stars and Top Ten Speakers, EHS Today Magazine's 50 People Who Most Influenced EHS, ISHN Magazine's POWER 101 - Leaders of the EHS World and their newest list: 50 Leaders for Today and Tomorrow, Pro-Sapien's list of The Top 11 Health and Safety Influencers and is an Avetta Distinguished Fellow.