Attracting and keeping a motivated workforce

Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding is considered one of the heroes of the Battle of Britain, which took place in August/September of 1940. He was known to be stubborn and shy with not much of a sense of humor. However, he and his band of fighter pilots, whom he affectionately referred to as his ”chicks”, because of their young age, were the heroes of this battle, saving Britain from the invading German army. He is widely viewed as having won this battle by thorough preparation and keen strategizing. His preparation included phone lines buried in cement to ensure un-disrupted communication, an underground concrete operations room, and when battle came, disguising his squadron’s smaller size by sending them out in small increments so the enemy would underestimate their forces. His squadron of fighter pilots were loyal, no doubt because of the care he took to see after their welfare and prepared them well prior to battle. Dowding came to be known by his ‘chicks’ pilots as someone who cared for his men and had their best interests at heart. In a way, Dowding laid the groundwork for one aspect of The Credit Union Difference.

His example of preparedness is often referenced as an example of how to succeed even when the odds might be against you. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  What should not be overlooked, however, is the care Dowding took when preparing and looking after his men. He inspired their loyalty, motivated them, and in return they did their best and gave him their trust.

What led to Dowding’s success with his men and what can we learn from Dowding to help inspire our own employed “chicks”?


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