I recently saw the movie “Sully” and I was blown away. Not just by the wonderful retelling of one of the most interesting events of 2009, not just by how amazing Tom Hanks is as an Actor but I was really amazed by how much Leadership Lessons are present in this movie.

You can now officially add this to the roster of Leadership centric movies; Coach Carter, Lincoln, Apollo 13, Pirates of Silicon Valley and many more.

Another reason why this movie was extra special for me is because I along with many other members of our team were actually part of the event. I can still recall it to this day, I was getting ready to end my day that time when we got a call from our senior clients asking for OT and a quick refresher training on scripts specifically dealing with a reported plane crash at the Hudson River.

I remember taking a few seconds to process the news, then quickly called for a meeting and we were ready to go.

Granted we were several thousands of miles away in a call center but it still felt very real for us talking to customers, addressing their questions, calming their fears, making sure we stick to the process and procedures to abate beyond the normal concerns that flooded our phone lines mere hours after US Airways flight 1549 landed on the Hudson River that fateful day of January 15, 2009. It was surreal.

Recommending everyone to watch this movie for its sheer entertainment factor and the brilliant lessons you will pick up from a Leadership standpoint.

Doing my research for this post, I chanced upon 34 great quotes from Brian Dodd’s Leadership Blog. You should go check him out here.


Below are the Top 10 that I liked.

Successful Leaders Know What They Are Doing – “It was not a crash. We knew what we were doing. It was a forced water landing.”

Leaders Are Often Required To Be Immediately Decisive – After the birds collided with the plane, Sully had to take immediate action. He said, “There was no time for calculating.”

Leaders Must Own The Results Of Their Decisions – “I bet my life on it. I’ll do it again.”

Trust Takes A Lifetime To Build And Can Be Lost In A Moment In Time – “I’ve safely delivered one million passengers over 40 years and tomorrow I’m going to be judged over 208 seconds.”

Successful Leaders Focus On Doing Their Job – “I don’t feel like a hero. I’m just a man doing a job.”

Leaders Must Not Panic During Times Of Chaos – After the bird strike and with both engines failed, Sully began checking his instruments and working his standard flight system.

During Times Of Crisis Trust Your Training – After getting instructions from the Captain to brace for impact, the flight attendants began screaming in unity to the passengers, “Brace! Brace! Brace! Heads down! Stay down!” They had obviously been properly trained and went into action.

During Times Of Crisis Use Brevity In Your Communications – After landing the plane, Sully entered the passenger and said one word, “Evacuate”

To Successfully Lead Through Crisis You Must Be Willing To Make Great Personal Sacrifices – Captain Sullenberger was the last one off the plane. He was the last one off the life rafts into a ferry. He was the last one off the ferry.

Successful Leaders Are Generous Leaders – Sully gave credit to his co-pilot, the flight attendants, the passengers, the NYC port authority and police officers. He said, “We did this together. We were a team. We did our job.”


Hats off to my former teammates back then who successfully handled over delivered queues of roughly 200% and delivering hundreds of OT Hours and still maintained CSAT scores above targets. “We did this together. We were a team. We did our job.”



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