24 mins

In October of 2008, I'd been unemployed for about four months. I was doing some consulting work, but still feeling entirely uncertain about my ability to make a living, so I did the obvious thing: I decided it was a good time to learn how to fly a plane.

Over the course of many months, more than a few bad landings, and even a wee bit of engine failure, I learned some stark lessons that have stuck with me even today. Those lessons — about being new at a thing, finding a way forward when you're lost, knowing when it's time to give up and regroup, and so much more — have turned out to be oddly relevant to my journey in engineering management, too.