I am glad to be here. 

The Blue Angels are the U.S. Navy’s precision flying squadron. If you’ve ever had a chance to see them perform at an air show, it’s truly amazing. They perform amazing feats in the sky, often flying in close formation. Sometimes their wing tips are 18 inches apart. 

The level of teamwork they have is outstanding. One mistake could lead to a catastrophic accident. 

It’s the teamwork that the Blue Angels have that I find inspiring. I want to speak to a couple elements of how they build spirit.

First, the Blue Angels have a high degree of planning and preparation for everything they do. The maneuvers for every air show are mapped out versus a center point on the ground. Each pilot knows what they will do, when they will do it, and where they will do it – all structured around the center point.

Second, after every Blue Angels flight, they debrief what went well and what needs to be improved. The last statement everyone makes is “Glad to be here.” I love how upbeat and affirming this is. They say “glad to be here” no matter what they’ve just discussed (be it success or failure). They are truly happy to have had a chance to participate. And given the danger they are exposed to, they are happy to just be alive.

I think we can take a lot from this; this attitude can apply to any one of us. On some days, Glad To Be Here can just mean you are glad to have a job, or even just to be alive. And even then, we sometimes get so caught up in our day-to-day tactical activities that we forget how fortunate we are to have the opportunities we have.

I think optimism and gratitude are very powerful things.