- July 30, 2020
- Posted in Motivation
On a cold winter day, many years ago, arriving at the gate for my 1:30 pm flight from Aizawl to Delhi, I noticed the seats in the waiting area were filled with snoozing passengers.
Alas, the 10:00 am flight still hadn’t taken off. Knowing that a rain storm was bearing down on the valley, I had just settled into a vacant seat to prepare for a long wait when I heard a voice behind me. “Hello everyone! Anyone seen a plane around here?” Glancing over wearily at the jokester, I noticed he was wearing wings on his lapel. The pilot had arrived.
Over the next hour, the gate crew scrambled to corral the crowd, re-ticketing passengers from both the 10:00 am and the 1:30 pm flights onto one plane to get the flight in the air before the runway filled up with water. And where was the pilot? In the cockpit, doing whatever pilots do before takeoff? No, this pilot stayed with the crowd, reassuring us we’d get off the ground, helping the gate agents, and keeping tempers from boiling over by entertaining us with well-timed jokes. At one point, he even complimented my shoes. That was it, the guy had me.
The flight was full. Most passengers had missed their connections already, and the rain storm was approaching. Clearly time was against us, and we had to depart before they decided to close the airport on account of the fog that was settling in as well.
As I boarded the small jet warily, I noticed the pilot directing the ground crew. He saw me coming. “Are we good?” I asked. “You bet… we’re good to go,” he reassured me.
Instead of heading for the cockpit, he stood up front with the flight attendants until every seat was full, then took the mic and greeted his passengers. “How’s everyone doing? You ready to get this plane off the ground? Okay, fair warning, I flew helicopters for the military… so I can’t promise you I’ll fly straight, but I’ll get us there!” He had the crowd cheering. And he did get us there, up through the rain storm and on to Delhi…and just to make sure he left us with a laugh, when the wheels touched down, he whooped over the audio, “Hip Hip hooray, we made it! Welcome to New Delhi everyone!” Laughs all around.
What can we learn from our pilot about leadership during crisis?
• Be present and visible – When an organisation is hit with the unexpected, you’ll have to make a choice. You can either head for the cockpit—and your comfort zone—or you can stay at the gate and be the face of leadership for your team. By staying visible, the pilot had the opportunity to answer questions in real time, heading off even more passenger frustration and maintaining forward motion for the rest of the crew.
• Pitch in – Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and engage in problem solving. You’ll earn respect and appreciation from those who are working on crisis management. Our pilot didn’t direct traffic or tell the gate agents how to do their jobs—he trusted that they knew what to do, but he also helped them get their job done by managing the crowd and setting expectations.
• Diffuse emotions – Tune in to the anxiety that crisis creates and win people over with understanding, calm confidence and, when appropriate, use humour to rally the team toward your cause. Nobody likes jokes when a true crisis is happening, but the light, personal touch and one-to-one conversations our pilot conducted got the passengers on his side and ready to help.
• Show you’re in control – Be prepared to stand up and set clear expectations for the journey and for the destination. Don’t hand off the mic to your staff when people want to hear straight from the leader. As the pilot smiled while standing in front of the plane facing his passengers, he left us with one comment, “I know you’re allowed to keep your small devices on for now, but if I hear one phone ring during taxi, I’ll pull over and come back to talk with you… and I won’t be smiling!” He got a laugh, but we knew who was in charge.
• Stay connected – Keep in touch. Don’t drop the ball on communication throughout the crisis. The pilot stayed focused while flying, but when he knew we were coming in for a landing, he made sure he touched base with his passengers one more time. When the crisis has passed, close the loop with your team to let people know they’re back on terraferma. With strong crisis leadership, your team will always know that they’re on solid ground—even when things are up in the air.
The key to excel in this era of technology is to be innovative enough and add features that make your product unique, like the use of sensors. They have become a common element in smartphones and tablets today to gain enough fame of users. Most of the devices have built-in sensors to calculate motion, orientation and various other environmental aspects. Some of these sensors are:
• Proximity Sensor – This sensor helps to detect the position of the body with respect to the phone and turns off the screen during certain tasks performed by the phone. It uses the Beam Forming technique for the detection of signal strength and interference sources. It functions to avoid accidental touch or unwanted input during a call and resumes the same function that was stopped earlier, after the conversation. This sensor is helpful in saving the battery life of the phone.
• GPS (Global Positioning System) Sensor – As the name suggests, GPS is used to tracking and navigation purposes with the help of GPS satellites to guide and assist the user. It is therefore considered to be one of the most important feature in a smartphone, today. Some smartphones have the assisted GPS or A-GPS technology to aid in case there is a disconnection with the main GPS satellite. Others have GLONASS GPS system for navigation purpose.
• Ambient Light Sensor – It is used to adjust the brightness of the screen with respect to the environment in which the phone is present. It comprises of photo diodes that are sensitive to different spectrum of light which help adjust the output changes of the light intensity on the screen. Similar to proximity sensor, it helps in conserving the battery life.
• Accelerometer – This sensor is used to adjust the orientation of smartphone according to the viewing angle of the user. For example, holding the smartphone horizontally for an increased width-view, will automatically change the view to a landscape mode. Camera would work in a similar manner with the help of this sensor. This feature is popular while playing games.
• Compass – Like a conventional compass, the function of this sensor is to give right direction but with the help of new technology and not by the use of magnet. The sensor calculates the orientation and direction of ultra-low frequency signals by Hall Effect and accelerometer. In a nutshell, this sensor helps to give direction by creating a magnetic field with the use of other sensors and disk/magnetic concentrator.
• Gyros or Gyroscope – This sensor works on the principle of angular momentum in order to maintain and control the position and orientation. When used in combination with accelerometer, it senses six axes and also detects the roll, pitch and yaw motions. Gyros can be used for the navigation purpose and for gesture recognition system when used with MEMS (Micro Electrical and Mechanical System) technology.
• Back-Illuminated Sensor – This feature, previously used in security camera and astronomical purpose, has now become a very common one in camera phones. It functions to increase or decrease the light captured when clicking a picture.
To conclude; these sensors are considered as an integral part of any smartphone today and from a manufacturer’s point of view, in order to stand out from others, these sensors have to be included in the phones nowadays, so that they could actually work smart.