Story – Charles Plumb and his Parachute

This story recognizes the unsung heroes, those who work behind the scene to ensure the success of the team, project or in this case a war mission. Some times team efforts may not be directly linked to the success of an endeavor. This story illustrates how important it is to have dedicate people behind the team to carry out their roles diligently despite the lack of visibility.

This is a true story about Captain J. Charles Plumb. He was was a navy jet pilot who on his 76th combat mission was shot down and parachuted into enemy territory. He was captured and spent six years in prison. He survived and is now an author and motivational speaker on the lessons he learned from his experiences.

One day, a man approached Plumb and his wife in a restaurant, and said, “Are you Plumb the navy pilot?”

“Yes, how did you know?” asked Plumb.

“I packed your parachute,” the man replied.

Plumb was amazed but at the same time grateful. “If the chute you packed hadn’t worked I wouldn’t be here today…”

Plumb realized and acknowledged that the anonymous sailors who packed his parachute saved his live. That sailor is a critical part of his team on a mission. Yet many times pilots never gave these sailors a second thought; never even said hello, let alone said thanks.

Now relate this story to your context. “Who pack your parachutes? Who are those in the team that helps you achieve your goals? Who help you through your life?

Recognize that every team member has a part to play to contribute to the team’s success, no matter how small the role is. Now, remember to thank and acknowledge their contribution next time.


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