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Better to fly high than not at all

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

After finishing the interview for membership on the board of directors at Lockheed Martin, business executive Anne Stevens was having dinner with the head of HR when she said she’d like to learn more about the products.

“You know, we’ve never had a board member go up in one of the fighter jets,” he replied. “Would you like to do that?”

Absolutely, said Stevens, who’s been on Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women” list four times.

“I was the first board member who took a flight in the back seat of an F-16 with the chief test pilot,” she says. “I actually took control of the plane, did loops and rolls, and then the pilot pulled nine Gs [a force of nine times gravity]. I was the only woman he was able to pull nine Gs with. In his entire career, there were only three people who could withstand nine Gs and I was one of them. Is that crazy, or what?”

Lesson: Try it.

— Adapted from “Zooming to Success in a Fighter Jet,” Caroline Cox, Little Pink Book.

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