"Once upon a time there were three young women who graduated from a flight academy. Despite proving their capability during training, they were each assigned mediocre duties at aviation operations. They were dissatisfied with these jobs. I recruited them. My name is Charlie!"
Wouldn’t that cause uproar if a charter operator would publicly announce that strictly only female pilots, aircraft mechanics and other staff are hired? Consider it challenging uniqueness. Charlie’s Angels Aviation would probably represent only a fraction of all charter operators combined worldwide. You may argue until you turn green or purple whether that would be an individual case of gender discrimination or be an individual case a company’s human resource policy.
A different case. Think of a night club manager who needs a bouncer. Who will he prefer? A petite woman with a black belt in karate and an IQ of 140, or the guy with the posture of a double door refrigerator with the brains of a chipmunk? I think the answer is clear. Discrimination pure! Why? The manager’s verbal argument would be that the refrigerator can keep things cool when emotions get hot. But then again, he may have had good reasons to worry that the woman would outsmart him. So far for staff selection and intelligence.
Business/private aviation is where lifestyle and air transportation meet. Charlie’s Angels Aviation would also stand for where profession and the fashion as well as beauty aspects meet. In fact, it may really propel the success of the operation. I’m sure that Charlie would go all the way and have special fashionable uniforms for the pilots and operations staff. Charlie would believe that it is quite absurd to dress his female pilots in the typical black uniform that are traditionally designed for men and actually look slightly military. So, a remarkable flair of femininity would characterize Charlie’s Angels Aviation uniform without compromising professionalism.
Cannot be done? You bet it can! If you look around in the women’s fashion departments of a store, you’ll be surprised to see how many outfits are based on safari jackets. You know? Four pockets, a belt and epaulettes. Practical, comfortable, fashionable and with stripes on the shoulder pieces it still relays the quality and authority of an officer.
Why look at the entertainment industry for different ideas? That particular industry is the playground of creativity and an incubator of innovative ideas. It is an industry willing to take risks. Often what is controversial or beyond imagination is what attracts audiences or sells well. The entertainment industry is tough business pure. It is constantly checking ratings. If a project doesn’t get competitive ratings or does not make enough revenue at the box office, it is considered a flop and it is ousted. So, if there is a success story in this creative laboratory, why not use some elements for an aviation operation’s success. Dare to say “nonsense” and one could be challenged by the suggestion that striving for success was derailed.
I don’t have to tell you about Walt Disney, Micky Mouse and the Magic Kingdom. Disney is considered to be one of the most significant creative forces of this century. Disney isn’t about kids’ stuff and magic. No other business can claim that it has a kingdom. It showcases 'the business behind the magic', which means exemplary client relations and services and ….., the leadership behind it. Are there examples of business aviation operations that have “magic”? Yet, magic may be the key component to stand out. Charlie’s Aviation Angels could be a display case.
One could criticize an endless number of magazines for only having beautiful people on their covers. You know the kind of people that could be dressed in a feed sack and still look good. Would they? Well…, some of them do and those are the ones that have charisma. However, glamour or glitz does sell well. You may have heard over and again that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is often in the eyes of the clients. And what about charisma? Actually, charisma is magic when combined with beauty.
Every business is claiming excellent fast and friendly service to the point that one wonders: “so what’s the big deal? Isn’t that supposed to be given?” Even a good thing can be a commodity. Search completely foreign industries for ideas, inspiration and suggestions for new products and services or a different way to run a business! Deliberately look for ideas and inspiration in the lifestyle, fashion and entertainment industries and find something to combine with the familiar and create something uniquely new!
Having an operation like Charlie’s Angels Aviation that is completely driven by dedicated female professionals may not only show uniqueness. It promotes gender equality including equal compensation. It can prove to be the magic of success.
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