I was headed north on I-35 today, and as I’m wont to do, my eye wondered over to the aircraft on final approach to Love Field. As I-35 meanders through the Trinity River flood plain, you can easily see the aircraft getting ready to land on either runway 13R or 13L. The aircraft seemed to be “just a bit” high and that got my curiosity. After I made my lane change (safely of course), I glanced back towards the airfield, and sure enough, the aircraft was climbing. Its gear was coming up as the pilot had probably declared a missed approach and was turning around to give it another go.
Needless to say, the pilot was probably not happy (and his passengers wondering what happened). It’s embarrassing for any pilot to fly a go around. It signifies you really didn’t have the plane in control and in the right spot to start the final approach to landing. Ask any aviator (old and experienced) and they’ll tell you that it’s best to go around rather than attempt to land when things aren’t right. Eat a bit a crow in front of the FAA crowd and your peers – but you land safely with your 100+ passengers.
So, that got me to thinking.
How many times in our business career or personal lives, do we decide that we are going to make something happen come hell or high water. Yet, our intuition is telling us something else (abort, abort, abort!) It could be hiring that sales rep with $2MM in sales; expanding our business into a new market; or telling your teenager that “I would never have done that!” Let’s learn from our Southwest Airlines aviator. Sometimes it is best to “go around” and have a bruised ego rather than a significant failure.