News – Leadership training programs launched

Our news release was published on the wire distribution today.

Leadership Training for Airlines and Aviation-Related Companies from

Singapore, Singapore, January 16, 2017 ( -McGallen & Bolden Pte Ltd, together with Capt Michael Caston, jointly launches various leadership training programs inspired by wisdom from ancient Asia, aimed at airlines and aviation-related companies, now available through

“The premise of our leadership training programs is simple – to provide pilots with a new perspective that can readily help them jump from a managerial situation which governs most flight time, to leadership roles where abnormal and emergency situations demand a mindset that can solve problems meticulously, with surgical and responsible decisions, and with a benign mindfulness necessary to take care of the entire crew and all the passengers in such dire emergencies,” says Seamus Phan, lead strategist, McGallen & Bolden Pte Ltd, a leadership thinker and author with over 30 years of experience.

Leadership training for pilots

Commercial aircraft today are complex machines with advanced automation systems with built-in redundancies. Pilots today, while maintaining manual flying skills, must have a thorough understanding and complete knowledge of the aircraft systems.

Training pilots to standard operating procedures (SOP) ensures that checklists, procedures, and instructions are followed to regulatory and company standards.

During normal route operations when things are going well, pilots are essentially managing the aircraft systems. Ground school and simulator training prepare pilots for the most common and known abnormalities, such as engine fires, engine failures, and other system failures.

However, there will be occasions when the pilot is subjected to something outside the scope of SOP and training, as in the historical cases such as the Hudson incident (recently made into a movie – “Sully”). There will be rare occurrences where catastrophic systems failures will require the pilots to understand the effects of “Startle” and to summon their mindfulness, abilities, knowledge, and perhaps creativity to assure the best option to a safe outcome.

These emergency situations force the pilots out of a “manager” role to a “leader” role, and that is where leadership training programs would be immediately important and much needed, from ab initio pilot selection, to leadership transition for first officers, and captains.

Servant Leadership for Aviation program has a customizable full-day or half-day training program that helps airlines and pilots think about extraordinary and “out of scope” abnormal emergencies, and challenge the pilots to rise to lead. The program looks beyond the commonly taught CRM (crew resource management), MCC (multi-crew cooperation), air safety, pilot selection and training, and is inspired by wisdom from ancient Asia (including the Analects, the Hagakure, and the Gorinosho, adapted from leadership training programs developed by Seamus Phan):

  • The why of leadership
  • CRM and its effects
  • Pilot profile, assessment and selection
  • Psychological profile and competencies
  • Learning from ancient Asia
  • Historical Three Kingdoms and lessons to be learned
  • Leaders are warriors
  • Learning from 17th century classic Hagakure
  • Learning from 350 years old classic Gorinosho by Musashi
  • Power of mindfulness in leadership
  • Benevolent leadership that leapfrogs the ordinary
  • Footprint business card™.

BRM™ Leadership Decisions for Pilots has another program, a customizable full-day program that provides the same principles from the “Servant Leadership for Aviation” program, distilled into the BRM principle (Benevolence, Rectitude, and Mindfulness), and include an interactive video scenario segment with multiple decision-making outcomes, and a role-play segment for more complex decision-making.

  • Introductory principles and facilitated lecture on critical decision-making
  • Interactive video segments for decision-making
  • Facilitated classroom role-plays with more complex scenarios requiring
  • parallel and simultaneous complex decisions
  • Discussion and debrief

Both new training programs are co-developed by Caston and Phan over the last 12 months between 2015 and 2016. Phan delivers the leadership transition principles, and Caston leads the facilitated sessions. Both training programs can be tailored to the exacting needs of airlines and aviation-related companies, with interactive video and role-play scenarios.

For more information, visit

About is the repository of information related to joint training programs developed by Michael Caston, a retired senior airline captain of over 40 years of experience, and Seamus Phan, a leadership thinker and author with over 30 yeras of experience. provides training programs such as the Servant Leadership for Aviation, BRM™ Leadership Decisions for Pilots (interactive videos and role-plays), and Leadership Secrets at 30,000 Feet (for corporations). Visit