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Future Personnel Planning Is Theme of Upcoming NBAA Leadership Conference

December 19, 2012

The need for flight departments to plan for the future, promote ambition among staff members and develop viable management succession plans will be among the topics discussed during the upcoming NBAA Leadership Conference set for Feb. 12 and 13, 2013, in Austin, TX.

Under the theme "Leadership Legacy: Inspiring the Future," the two-day event will also offer suggestions and motivational tips for current aviation managers to become better leaders.

"We passionately believe that business aviation needs to have strong leadership," noted Jay Evans, NBAA’s director of professional development and administrative director to the Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) Governing Board. "One sign of a strong leader is that they not only properly manage current resources and personnel, but that they also have an eye to the future in developing leaders from within their companies to maintain that legacy going forward."

The Leadership Conference will address that matter from several different perspectives, including insights from speakers about enhancing professional and personal leadership skills. Conference sessions will cover a variety of topics, including how to adapt your company to future challenges, motivational techniques and using humor to enhance your management style.

Such skills are especially valuable when companies transition personnel into key leadership positions, according to Sarah Wolf, NBAA project manager, professional development.

"Many flight departments develop a strong and successful culture, but are then left scrambling when those effective managers retire or otherwise leave the company,” she said. “Companies must have succession plans to ensure those same values are maintained through such transitions.”

Nurturing employees for future management roles is often the best option, Wolf noted, though some executives may be reluctant to do so – an attitude that needs to be addressed, and corrected.

"One of the things we need to reinforce is that, just because the people working for you are looking for professional development, that doesn't mean they specifically want your job," Wolf continued. "Helping someone develop his or her leadership skills shouldn’t be viewed as a threat."

Scheduled speakers and presenters at the Leadership Conference include futurist Glen Hiemstra, humorist Craig Zablocki and David Everitt, who recently retired as president of Deere & Company's Ag & Turf division, and today serves on NBAA’s Board of Directors. The Feb. 13 Closing Session keynote speaker will be noted leadership education author James Kouzes.

Evans noted the next generation of business aviation leaders must be prepared for a wide scope of potential challenges, such as pilot shortages and fleet transitions to new aircraft.

"Future leaders prepare now to ensure the future success of business aviation," he said.