The Aerospace Executive Podcast

The Aerospace Executive Podcast header image 1

Defining Company Culture w/Laura Gallaher

Laura Gallaher is helping CEOs build their leadership styles and company cultures.



Self-improvement and self-acceptance are not on opposite ends of a continuum. They coexist. -Laura Gallaher


Takeaways + Tactics

  • Like it or not, every business has a culture, and it’s set by the CEO.

  • The development of amazing cultures is done with INTENTION and shaped by behaviors that are reinforced.

  • To become great leaders, good leaders must acknowledge the flaws that are holding them back.


Guest Bio:

Dr. Laura Gallaher has worked in the field of professional and personal development since 2005. Laura is an Organizational Psychologist, Speaker, Facilitator, and Executive Coach. She is the founder and CEO of Gallaher Edge, which she started in 2013 and rebranded in 2018.
Her noteworthy career began after the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded upon re-entry in 2003, killing everybody aboard. Following the tragedy, NASA hired Laura and a team of organizational psychologists to change the cultural influences that were deemed to play a role in the accident. She worked for 8 years to positively influence culture, develop leadership capacity, and improve organizational performance at Kennedy Space Center. Laura was also hired to help manage the change associated with radical changes in the performance management process and philosophy at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.

Laura is an expert teacher, trainer, speaker and consultant, particularly in the concepts of self-awareness, accountability, trust building and team cohesion. Learn more at


Focus on the Cause of Business Failures, Not the Symptoms w/ Alex Vorobieff

Many business owners get stuck in the details and miss the bigger picture. Alex Vorobieff, author of Transform Your Company, helps companies fix the root causes of business failures.



Hiring based on behavior is far more important than hiring on trainable skills. -Alex Vorobieff

Takeaways + Tactics

  • Business transformation starts at the top.  Leadership must accept responsibility and affect change.
  • Root Cause Analysis is a valuable tool.  Don’t just accept a defeat… identify what caused it.   
  • Core Values MUST be factored into the hiring process.  Companies AND executives must be aligned.

Teaching skills is easy. Training or teaching behavioral patterns is not. Identifying good cultural fit is done via identification of core values, and what makes a culture unique. What are YOUR core values?


Guest Bio:

A highly sought-after speaker, business alignment coach, and the author of Transform Your Company, Alex Vorobieff has helped scores of business owners replace chaos with clarity and finally attain the success they’ve always imagined. Alex is the founder and CEO of The Alex Vorobieff Company, a premier business transformation company. Go to for more information, or contact Alex directly at

Don’t Put “A+” Talent Through “B” Processes w/ Matt Johnson

A+ players know their worth.  Putting them through B processes will turn them off.

Understand the difference between an A+ and B players:  what turns off the A+ player during the hiring process, and why low level administrators should not manage the hiring process. Matt Johnson and I speak about how companies should treat A+ talent.



Takeaways + Tactics

  • A+ player knows their numbers and achievements . B players don’t.
  • Hiring processes for entry level workers and executive level candidates are different. Most A+ players won’t stand for being treated like an applicant.
  • During the good times, companies are more likely to hire B players to ease the workload.  During hard times, the rockstar will stand out.


Learn More About Your Host:

Co-founder and Managing Partner for Northstar Group, Craig is focused on recruiting senior level leadership, sales and operations executives for some of the most prominent companies in the aviation and aerospace industry. Clients include well known aircraft OEM’s, aircraft operators, leasing / financial organizations, and Maintenance / Repair / Overhaul (MRO) providers.

Since 2009 Craig has personally concluded more than 150 executive searches in a variety of disciplines. As the only executive recruiter who has flown airplanes, sold airplanes AND run a business, Craig is uniquely positioned to build deep, lasting relationships with both executives and the boards and stakeholders they serve. This allows him to use a detailed, disciplined process that does more than pair the ideal candidate with the perfect opportunity, and hit the business goals of the companies he serves.


Guest Bio

Matt Johnson is a marketer, entrepreneur, musician. As founder of Pursuing Results, a podcast PR & production agency based in San Diego, Matt runs a worldwide virtual team helping business coaches and agencies break in and dominate new markets through podcasting.

How Great Leaders Keep Employees Happy w/Axel Meierhoefer

Strong leaders build strong teams. Dr. Axel Meierhoefer shares why companies need great leaders, and how to spot one.



If you can go to work every day and do something you believe in that’s meaningful and has a purpose, then the money is basically out of the picture. -Axel Meierhoefer

Takeaways + Tactics

  • Companies focus too much on teaching management skills to their executives, at the expense of teaching leadership skills.

  • Failure analysis and victory celebration are both keys to growth.

  • The biggest motivator for millennials is having a sense of purpose.

  • Good leaders communicate how employee actions impact the overall business.


Why Attracting the Right People is the Best Growth Strategy w/ Bob Sullivan

Bob Sullivan is the Chief Admin Officer for OneSky Aviation, the parent of Flexjet, Flight Options, Sentient Jet and SkyJet.

OneSky Aviation is great at adapting to market shifts and new customer demands. Bob Sullivan gives us a peek inside one of the most successful private jet companies in the world.



Business is going to have ups and down, but if you surround yourself with the right people and do the right things, you will prosper. -Bob Sullivan


Takeaways + Tactics

  • As a company, being privately held gives you the advantage of not having shareholders looking over your shoulder.
  • To survive in this industry, the business must be managed with a long-term outlook.
  • Filter candidates based on personality assessments that are culture focused. It’s important that they know how an entrepreneurial organization is different.

Rules to Get A+ Talent w/Matt Johnson


What are the traits of A+ Players, and how do we get them? Matt Johnson and Craig Picken share insight on finding A+ talent.


Nothing drives businesses more crazy than people who are afraid of making decisions. -Craig Picken


Takeaways + Tactics

  • The two most important business assets are intellectual capacity and ability to adjust to rapidly changing markets
  • Hiring Managers MUST be immersed in the hiring process.  It cannot be outsourced.
  • “A” Players will hire other “A” Players, “B” Players will not.  “A” Players WILL NOT WORK for “B” Players. 
  • The more people involved in the hiring decision, the less chance an A Player will get hired.
  • “A” Players will fix the problem.  “B” Players, in the budget, will not.


Working with Millennials w/ James Durham

Are Millennials really the entitled generation who want to start at the top? Or, are they just more flexible and willing to take risks? James Durham, my friend and podcast Producer, shares his insight on millennial values and the challenges companies face in attracting next generation talent.



For my generation of job applicants, the benefits they desire are not homogenous. The long-term upsides of 401k matching or retirement plans don’t resonate for everyone the way they used to. -James Durham

Takeaways + Tactics

  • Some want freedom and immediate gratification. Others see success as a goal they must work hard to achieve. Companies must pivot to both to match and manage expectations.
  • They are very tech-savvy, and highly skilled
  • Companies need to leverage social media for marketing AND recruiting. Many millennials want to see companies active in social dialogue and modern in their social mindset.
  • Younger workers have become geared towards schedule flexibility, travel opportunities, and autonomy. More importantly, though, it varies greatly from person to person. Want to know what a worker wants? Then be prepared to ask them a direct question.


For more aerospace industry news & commentary:

To learn more about Craig Picken and the NorthStar Group, visit


In the beginning of the episode, we talked about how college graduates see the workforce and how likely they are to be attracted by companies who either promote themselves as culture centric (e.g., Google and Amazon) or companies who come with the offer of steady growth. James also shared his opinion on why millenials are more likely to take risks and why they have less to lose than baby boomers did when they were in their twenties and thirties.

We also covered:

  • The impact of the “prolonged adolescence” on the workforce
  • Why influencers on social media are good at delivering the information to millenials
  • How the lack of job security has made people think about betting on themselves and starting a business instead of working in the corporate world


Millennials are starting families later in life, traveling extensively and changing jobs more frequently, which is having a big impact on the workforce. They are also more likely to take risks and build their own business, as they often feel they don’t have much to lose. Providing relevant benefits and a path for growth is the key to harnessing the power that they bring.

Pilots and the Modern Flight Department w/Dave Scheu

Attracting the right people in your company is vital for success. But what happens when you can’t offer as much financial incentive as the big players? What else can you offer to your future pilots? Is investing in their education worth it? In this episode, Dave Scheu talks about how to find talented pilots and lower turnover rates.


The technology is moving fast. It’s almost a shame that I wasted this money on a piece of equipment that is obsolete in a year. -Craig Picken

Takeaways + Tactics

  • It’s more than pay.  Added benefits, flexibility, and a company culture that values its pilots helps to keep turnover rates low.

  • Pilots who seek continuing challenges won’t always be happy in the airline. They want companies who can deliver on their interests.

  • Hire people who have a future plan, even if your company is not included in that plan.

  • Invest in your people. Investment in their continuing education shows interest in their growth.


For more aerospace industry news & commentary: 

To learn more about Craig Picken and the NorthStar Group, visit


In the beginning of the episode, we talked about talent acquisition and how important is to invest in the education of your pilots. We also touched on the technological changes and how much money is lost due to buying equipment that will be improved upon the next year.

We also talked about:

  • The potential of the supersonic business
  • How automation impacts the skills of a pilot
  • The importance of improved satellite communication

It’s hard for flight departments to compete with the airlines on wages alone.  But attracting the right people is not impossible… it just takes some thought and creativity.

How Can Anyone Make Money? Boeing, Airbus, Partnering for Success, Consolidation and Trade Wars w/Kevin Michaels

Thought leader Kevin Michaels draws from his 30 years of experience and shares insights on the current state of the aerospace industry.


We are in an industry with enormous entry barriers and incredible complexity. -Kevin Michaels

Takeaways + Tactics

  • While the behemoths are rising, the independents are laser focused for success.
  • Air travel demand is on fire globally with 7% annual growth, driving up asset prices.
  • Boeing has set aggressive goals which will change the company mindset and shake up expectations.
  • US-driven trade wars and sanctions are driving uncertainty in the supply chain, particularly in raw materials.

We also shared insights on:

  • The tremendous uncertainty in supply (both uranium and aluminum)
  • The impact of geopolitics on the aerospace industry
  • Airlines and the growth of outsourcing in the last few decades

The aerospace industry is growing, but we are also living in times filled with uncertainty when it comes to aluminum and uranium, caused by the U.S sanctions on Russian oligarchs. There are 3 strategies that companies can use to grow: low costs, differentiators, and focus. At the moment, the market is evolving towards focus and narrower niches, but the optimistic growth plans set by companies like Boeing can easily be impacted by foreign suppliers.

For more aerospace industry news & commentary:

To learn more about Craig Picken and the NorthStar Group, visit

Rising Above the Status Quo w/ René Banglesdorf

Failure is an option, and fear of failure is inevitable. On this episode, Aviation CEO René Banglesdorf shares how she found success out of the depths of the great recession and discusses our role in producing the next generation of innovators.

If you can succeed in the bad times, you’ll love the good times.  But if you’ve never seen bad times, then watch out!  


The ability to transform fear of failure into determination to win, no matter what-- THAT’s what makes people rise above the status-quo. -René Banglesdorf 


Takeaways + Tactics

  • The fight against mediocrity happens every day. Every day we make choices that will either push us forward or make us stall.
  • Companies with a diverse pool of employees are more creative and offer differing points of view.
  • When determining what your company should hire for, look inside the systems and see what is lacking.
  • Millennials need a sense of purpose.  Give them something to believe in and they will pour their hearts into it.



For more aerospace industry news & commentary:

To learn more about Craig Picken and the NorthStar Group, visit


At the beginning of the episode, we talked about the importance of putting people of diverse backgrounds in the aerospace industry. This is not only to give them an equal opportunity to succeed but also to bring new perspectives to the table.

Rene also shared insights on:

  • Why the fight against mediocrity starts with emotional resilience
  • The role of innovation in driving younger generations to the industry
  • Universal rules about finding the right candidate

You can’t leave a legacy in one day. The secret to success is fighting back after a failure and transforming your fears into fuel to fight the next battle.