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Teamwork Brings Success

Teamwork Brings Success

The photo shows the United States Navy Blue Angels® performing near my house.

The Marine Corps and Navy pilots of the Blue Angels form part of a team of dedicated, skilled, and highly qualified individuals. They are also the ones drawing the most attention from the crowds and news media.

The whole team

Yet, the pilots are part of the team. Other members of the team are the unseen officers and enlisted personnel functioning in aircraft maintenance, administration, aviation medicine, public affairs, supply, and much more.

What I described is only the military portion of the airshow. Behind the scenes are hundreds of support personnel including airshow organizers, airport staff, air traffic controllers, firefighters, law enforcement, etc.

Neither the Blue Angelsnor any other military aircraft would leave the ground without the tireless efforts of those supporting the mission. In John Maxwell’s book, The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, he writes about the Law of the Niche and states, “All players have a place where they add the most value.”

Contributing to the team

Everyone supporting the mission of the Blue Angels adds value to the team and they contribute to the success of each flight exhibition. When the pilots climb into the cockpit of their jet fighters, they place their trust, safety, and lives in the hands of everyone who had a part in getting the aircraft off the ground.

In my book The Furnace of Leadership Development, I wrote that integrity, trust, and credibility form a triad of strength. “They coexist, grow, and develop in unison. Remove one or the other and the triad collapses.”2 When the triad collapses teamwork erodes. The results are low morale, mediocre performance, behavioral issues, missed deadlines, and the list goes on.

What about your team?

Is your team a motivated group of individuals like the Blue Angels or are they more like a roller derby team going around in circles trying to knock each other over? Which would you prefer?

Leave a comment below on the method you use to develop your team.


Rick Davis |

Rick Davis is a retired battalion chief from the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) in Colorado, author of the book The Furnace of Leadership Development. He served as a firefighter for thirty-seven years and with LFRA for over twenty-nine. During his time with LFRA, Rick led the Special Operations Team, the hazardous materials team, wildland firefighting program, recruiting program, health and safety program, and served as the department’s training chief. Rick is a veteran of both the United States Air Force and United States Marine Corps.

Over the course of his career, Rick has spoken about and taught leadership and decision making to fire service, industry, and church groups. He wrote two research papers on situational awareness and tactical decision making under stress, and holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Kennedy Western University, a M.S. in Executive Fire Service Leadership from Grand Canyon University, and is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program.

Originally from Cedarville, New Jersey, he now lives in Loveland, Colorado with his wife, Debbie, two daughters, Rebekah and Emily, and their dog, Java. Rick is a student of leadership and military history, and finds studying the Gettysburg Campaign of 1863 of great interest. He enjoys the Atlantic Ocean and walking Civil War battlefields. To invite Rick to speak at your event or organization, please contact him.


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