The Aerospace Executive Podcast

Craig Picken

How Top Aerospace Executives Set the Vision, Grow Their Business & Develop Talent

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6 Reasons Why People Leave An Organization & How to Stop the Bleeding
Today
6 Reasons Why People Leave An Organization & How to Stop the Bleeding
When people think of what motivates a person to quit their job, money is the first thing that comes to mind, but very often it’s not even at the top of the list.   The reasons people leave an organization go far deeper than monetary gain, there’s usually a lot more they aren’t getting from their company. In fact, we can attribute a career move to 6 reasons. Identifying these reasons as leaders helps us improve our culture so we can keep the best people on our teams.   In this edition of Million Dollar Careers, we talk about retention and what makes people leave.   If you’re exchanging a known for an unknown, there better be a good reason, and it can’t just be money. -Rob Houghton     Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode    Why money isn’t the key driver for a change Moving jobs is a highly stressful process, what makes someone willing to go through all that? How to keep employee boredom at bay How do you keep the A players who need to constantly be challenged engaged? Why leaders have to create security for their people Is high staff turnover due to companies actually quitting on their people?   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.
6 Reasons Why People Leave An Organization & How to Stop the Bleeding
Today
6 Reasons Why People Leave An Organization & How to Stop the Bleeding
When people think of what motivates a person to quit their job, money is the first thing that comes to mind, but very often it’s not even at the top of the list.   The reasons people leave an organization go far deeper than monetary gain, there’s usually a lot more they aren’t getting from their company. In fact, we can attribute a career move to 6 reasons. Identifying these reasons as leaders helps us improve our culture so we can keep the best people on our teams.   In this edition of Million Dollar Careers, we talk about retention and what makes people leave.   If you’re exchanging a known for an unknown, there better be a good reason, and it can’t just be money. -Rob Houghton     Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode    Why money isn’t the key driver for a change Moving jobs is a highly stressful process, what makes someone willing to go through all that? How to keep employee boredom at bay How do you keep the A players who need to constantly be challenged engaged? Why leaders have to create security for their people Is high staff turnover due to companies actually quitting on their people?   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.
Want to Be a Better Leader? Just Pick Up the Phone
10-11-2022
Want to Be a Better Leader? Just Pick Up the Phone
For how much time we spend on our phones, it’s astonishing how afraid people are of picking up the phone and just having a conversation. Progress is made and things come together in conversations that can’t be had via text and email.   Trying to force all communication through text and emails has led to passive aggressive texts, angry emails and other totally avoidable confrontations.   Why are we so afraid of getting on the phone? What are the only acceptable uses of email and text?   In this episode, I’m joined by my producer Matt Johnson for this edition of Million Dollar Careers. We’re talking about why we need to get over the reluctance to pick the phone.    No angry customer was ever made happy via email. -Craig Picken   Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode    Why delaying bad news is such a fruitless exercise Are we avoiding tough conversations by communicating via text or delaying and aggravating the inevitable? How to dissolve a tense situation and avoid a nasty confrontation What causes our fear of the phone in the first place? The ONLY times text and email are appropriate If you’re on the receiving end of passive aggressive text or email, how do we deal with it?    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 OEMs, 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.
Reverting to the Mean: How to Win in an Irrational Labor Market
03-11-2022
Reverting to the Mean: How to Win in an Irrational Labor Market
In nature, the rule of balance reigns supreme - things will always return to an equilibrium, no matter what. In finance, reverting to the mean is a certainty, a swinging pendulum will always return to center.   The employment market is no different - right now everything is irrational, and it’s driving everything from jet pricing to salaries, but eventually the music will stop.   The challenge is keeping your business stable while things rebalance and still being able to play the game at a really high level on handicap mode.   How do you retain the best people when you can’t afford the crazy salaries being driven by this market? In this episode, we talk about the challenges in today’s job market and how to deal with them.   This labor shortage isn’t temporary - it’s structural, it’s demographic and it isn’t going away. -Craig Picken   Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode    The truth every company must grapple with Are your expectations realistic for the long-term or are you just making decisions on the sugar high of an irrational market? Why the pressures on the job market persist Will the employment market ever return to the normal we knew before, or will it readjust to a whole new normal? How to eliminate barriers to success on your team If it’s hard to find talent, how do you make your existing talent more productive?    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 OEMs, 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.
Million Dollar Careers: When Is the Right Time to Quit?
27-10-2022
Million Dollar Careers: When Is the Right Time to Quit?
Resilience and determination are highly sought after traits, and sometimes that’s what it takes to stay in a challenging job or career. But when the environment becomes too difficult or toxic, we just have to cut our losses and quit.   But how do we know if we've reached the end of the line with our jobs? What can we do to prepare before throwing in the towel?   In this episode of the Million Dollar Career Series, Robert Houghton and I discuss knowing when to fold 'em.   If you’re thinking about folding, understand what it is that you’re looking for. -Craig Picken   Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  How to identify a toxic job situation What can you do to prepare for when you have to quit? Why you have to know why you’re quitting How can we avoid contagious quitting? How having an outside advisor can help you Why do we need the insight of someone else to know if we’re making the right move?     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.
Million Dollar Careers: 5 Questions You Need to Ask Before You Make a Move
20-10-2022
Million Dollar Careers: 5 Questions You Need to Ask Before You Make a Move
It’s really easy to wreck a great career when you make decisions based on emotions and take action with no real vision, and unfortunately, we’re seeing a lot of that right now.   There are many people making career moves for the sake of it instead of taking a rational approach to make sure the job actually serves them long term.   Just like planes, your career needs a flight plan, measurable milestones and a realistic endpoint.   How do we simplify the decision making process? In this edition of Million Dollar Careers, we talk about the importance of starting with the end in mind.    Before you quit your job and trade a known for an unknown, make sure you know what the end is. -Rob Houghton     Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  The cost of jumping ship without thinking it through Why are many of the people quitting their jobs doomed to end up frustrated again? Why vision and self-realization are so important Are you on the path that leads you to your desired end point? If not, how do you change that?Emotional moves vs. rational decisions How do you take a measured and vision-informed approach to mapping out your career?   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 OEMs, 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.
Quiet Firing: The Other Side of Quiet Quitting & Why It’s Just As Bad
13-10-2022
Quiet Firing: The Other Side of Quiet Quitting & Why It’s Just As Bad
There’s a lot of passive aggressive behavior in the working world right now, and doing the bare minimum isn’t just something employees do - companies do it too.   Quiet firing is the practice of slowly freezing out an employee hoping they self-select out, instead of just facing the issues head-on. It’s dishonest, unproductive and wholly unnecessary and entirely avoidable. How can you tell you’re being quietly pushed out? How can organizations refrain from quiet firing?   In this edition of Million Dollar Careers, we dig into quiet firing and why it’s such a bad practice.    Hiring authorities and supervisors really owe it to themselves, their company, and the individual candidates to confront the issue. -Rob Houghton   Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  What to be on the lookout for From demotions to reassignments, quiet firing takes on many forms. What are the subtle signs? The people who’ll never get quietly fired Can you take corrective action when you realize you’re being quietly fired? Why quiet firing is the action of a cowardly leader If an employer isn’t happy with an employee’s performance, why is it so critical to cut the BS and just let them go?    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 OEMs, 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.
Why Curiosity & Questions Take You Further Than Confidence & Answers
29-09-2022
Why Curiosity & Questions Take You Further Than Confidence & Answers
Even the most talented and driven people can find themselves feeling stuck in their careers, dealing with job circumstances that suck the life out of them. From working with quiet quitters, to feeling like you’ve hit the ceiling in the organization or your capabilities not being noticed, how do you get unstuck? What actions can you take to keep expanding and building up your profile? In this episode of Million Dollar Careers, we talk about navigating some of the common issues people face in their careers today.    Curiosity and questions will get you a lot further than confidence and answers. -Rob Houghton   Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  How to become the smartest person in the room Why is curiosity such a critical character trait of people with million dollar careers? The power of a quiet hiring initiative Do companies rob themselves of valuable talent by favoring external hires over the ferocious players within the organization with the potential to become superstars? The smartest way to flex your expertise How do you show your network that you have the mental capacity needed to excel?     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 OEMs, 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.
Becoming THE Guy or Gal: The True Million Dollar Career Advantage
22-09-2022
Becoming THE Guy or Gal: The True Million Dollar Career Advantage
The foundation of a million dollar career is your ability to be so valuable and knowledgeable that people need you more than you need them. You don’t have to be the CEO to have this advantage - you just need to master your craft, show that you’re an asset and position yourself strategically to use your voice when it matters. In this edition of the Million Dollar Careers, Rob Houghton and I discuss how to become THE guy or gal in the organization, and how it supercharges your career.     You want to be the expert, you want to be the person people come to when they need something, and that’s where you get your freedom. -Craig Picken   Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  The power of thinking differently Being willing to go against the grain and “red team” is highly valuable, but how do you do it without upsetting the team dynamic? How to build up your mental acuity Making great decisions is key to a successful career, but how do we build that skill? How to become an indispensable resource How do you find and own a valuable corner to dominate in your industry or company?   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 OEMs, 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.
Mergers & Acquisitions Q3 2022: What Buyers & Sellers Are Focused On Post-Covid w/Chuck Adams
15-09-2022
Mergers & Acquisitions Q3 2022: What Buyers & Sellers Are Focused On Post-Covid w/Chuck Adams
As the aerospace industry emerges from the last kicks of covid, mergers and acquisitions are a great barometer of the new developments, the big market needs and the concerns of both buyers and sellers. Even though there’s still a little caution in the air, many corners in the industry are poised to make major moves going forward. Where are big firms looking to participate right now? How can buyers and sellers approach the deal so everyone wins? In this episode, managing partner of Coeptis Consulting Group, Chuck Adams, shares what’s happening in M&A and what we can expect over the next couple of years. There’s uncertainty around the economy, but there are still some good solid deals going on. -Chuck Adams     Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  Why the frenzy died down in multiples Are we seeing a compression of multiples caused by covid, and when can we expect them to pick back up? How to tap into a global market What kind of opportunities are emerging markets creating for aerospace operators? What’s driving open operators to sell How should buyers approach the owner operators who are selling a business that’s really close to their heart?    Guest Bio Chuck Adams is the managing partner of Coeptis Consulting Group. He brings years of experience to the firm with a background in the aviation/aerospace, automotive, and industrial goods industries. His deep, technical engineering expertise, combined with his business background, provides our clientele with a comprehensive, technical-business examination when providing our services. Prior to co-founding Coeptis Consulting Group, he spent over six and a half years at GE Aviation  providing engineering & business services, interacting with internal & external production and MRO shops around the globe on various product lines, including the CFM56, LEAP, GE90, and CF34 commercial lines, as well graduating from GE’s Engineering Development Program. Before GE, he also spent time in the automotive, food manufacturing, industrial goods, construction, and video game industries. Additionally, he has founded a few companies, including a profitable residential & commercial construction firm in the local Idaho area, and is well-versed in data analysis, including programming (Python, MATLAB, SQL, and more). Chuck holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Boise State University, a MS in Mechanical Engineering from North Dakota State University, and an MBA from Indiana University. To find out more, go to or phone 253-720-9058.     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 OEMs, 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.
Sentient Jet is On a Mission to Evangelize Private Aviation: Why It Matters Right Now w/Andrew Collins
08-09-2022
Sentient Jet is On a Mission to Evangelize Private Aviation: Why It Matters Right Now w/Andrew Collins
The pandemic created a unique set of circumstances for private aviation; an alignment between the forced adoption of technology and the emergence of a new type of consumer has given the sector an incredible boost in demand and volume. A monumentally entrepreneurial organization like Sentient Jet is primed for this private aviation gold rush, and on the forefront of evangelizing the sector. What are some of the pieces they are lining up to continue expanding market share? How is tech fueling their organizations growth? In this episode, President and CEO of Sentient Jet, Andrew Collins shares why the last few years have been so fruitful for private aviation and what the company aims to accomplish.    We’re trying to remove as much friction as we can from private aviation and generate the most positive experience. -Andrew Collins   Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  The truth about market rationalized pricing Is the idea of the democratization of business aviation an unrealistic oxymoron? Why Sentient Jet is investing in eVTOL Can aviation create a frictionless and convenient way to do short distances? The rise of a new customer How has this post-pandemic era impacted what business aviation customers expect? Sentient Jet’s main focus How can the private aviation industry improve the experience for a growing customer base?     Guest Bio Andrew Collins is the President and CEO of Sentient Jet, he is responsible for a $450 million consumer travel and aviation business that has rapidly flourished over the last six years. Under his leadership the company has benefited from both a digital and business model transformation, in addition to an organizational restructuring. This includes setting market, product, and brand strategy, integrating a full suite of retail and wholesale technology applications, tripling sales, optimizing client acquisitions costs, and significantly moving top-line revenues, while also evolving Sentient into an EBITDA-positive entity. In addition to running Sentient Jet, Collins is a lead executive at parent company OneSky where he is focused on M&A, operations, and revenue management activities. In 2021 Collins led the acquisition of Halo Aviation in London and integrated the company with Associated Aircraft Group (recently acquired from Sikorsky Lockheed Martin) in NYC to form OneSky’s Vertical Lift division, creating a global fleet of 24 helicopters and a platform for the future of flight. Inclusive with this effort was an order for 200 eVTOL (electric vertical take off and landing) vehicles from Embraer’s EVE. To find out more, go to      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 OEMs, 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.
Million Dollar Careers: Why Quiet Quitting is More Trouble Than It’s Worth
01-09-2022
Million Dollar Careers: Why Quiet Quitting is More Trouble Than It’s Worth
In a post-pandemic world of work, the frustrations and concerns that led to The Great Resignation have morphed into a more passive aggressive trend. Quiet quitting has emerged as the way unhappy employees express their job dissatisfaction, but does it actually do more harm to the worker than the employer? In this episode of Million Dollar Careers, we’re going to talk about why quiet quitting destroys your own career, and the more productive way to deal with any career frustrations.   Setting boundaries is the alternative to quiet quitting. -Rob Houghton   Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  Why hard work doesn’t have to come at the expense of our personal lives How can we give 110% at work without burning ourselves out? Why the solution is often setting better boundaries Quiet quitting is often driven by well-founded concerns about the job. How do we communicate how we truly feel instead of being passive aggressive? The importance of mentorship If you can’t afford a coach, how can you still get the guidance of an expert in your corner?   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.
The Tugboat Theory: Are You in the Right Vehicle for Success?
18-08-2022
The Tugboat Theory: Are You in the Right Vehicle for Success?
Big ships and tugboats are entirely different machines, and the captains who steer them serve very different roles. This rule shows up in our careers -  it’s hard for someone who thrives in a start-up to excel in a large corporation, and the people who are great in corporate would struggle in a more entrepreneurial environment. There’s nothing wrong with either path, but the key is knowing yourself and placing yourself in the right environment. What are the key differences between corporate-oriented people and those more suited to startups? In today’s edition of Million Dollar Careers, we talk about the Tugboat Theory and how to use it to get the most out of your career.   Everybody brings skills to the table, you’ve got to know where you sit. If you’re a small company person at heart, don’t go looking for jobs at big companies. -Craig Picken   Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode    The root of career friction Why do many entrepreneurial people drown in the corporate world? Why you don’t have to bite off more than you can chew Can you set up your career path in such a way that you get the best of both worlds? Why startups offer an amazing opportunity How can a corporate worker make the switch to a startup and what makes it such a great move?   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.
Million Dollar Careers: Throwing the Red Flag Makes Your Business Better
04-08-2022
Million Dollar Careers: Throwing the Red Flag Makes Your Business Better
In football, throwing a red flag allows a coach to contest the ref’s decision. It installs an extra layer of accountability and fairness. In military operations, we red team our strategies to identify weaknesses that can be improved upon. Corporate organizations and businesses can benefit from the same approach. Having someone on the team who can interrogate a decision or call BS on a potential move, makes the business stronger. How does this show up in companies? Who are the people we should really be listening to before we proceed on a plan? In this episode of the Million Dollar careers series, we talk about the power of a red team strategy.   "Throwing a red flag provides outside input, accountability, empowerment, and it can help you avoid a lot of bad decisions." -Robert Houghton   Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode    Why accountability improves a business Does throwing the red flag subconsciously make everyone better at their jobs? The importance of having a frenemy in the business Some people find finance roles like accountants and auditors annoying, but why are they so critical to our success? How to red team our own lives What’s one simple thing we can do to keep ourselves from making bad decisions?   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.
Million Dollar Careers: The Best Resumes Tell Stories
28-07-2022
Million Dollar Careers: The Best Resumes Tell Stories
Most resumes, even the ones with the most impressive accomplishments, are nothing more than a list of boring bullet points. If you’re trying to get a great job with a profile that’s devoid of personality and storytelling, it’s going to be really hard to stand out. Everyone has an incredible story to tell about their lives and careers, the more we tell them, the more people want to bring us into their worlds. In this episode of the Million Dollar Careers series, Robert Houghton and I talk about what the history of America teaches us about storytelling.   When you’re doing a resume, you’re telling your story and the story has to be informative, inspiring and it has to be entertaining. If it’s just a bunch of bullet points, no one will read it. -Craig Picken    Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  Why we have to create career vignettes How do you transform an accomplishment on your resume into a mini story? How to balance humility with pride Can we talk about our proudest accomplishments without coming off braggy and arrogant? A storytelling lesson from Bill Gates How did the founder of Microsoft use mosquitoes to tell a memorable story?   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.
Attracting the Next Generation to Aviation w/Andy Priester
21-07-2022
Attracting the Next Generation to Aviation w/Andy Priester
Recruiting the next generation of professionals is a big concern for the aviation industry. It is now mandatory that aviation companies, large and small, to paint a clear picture of attractive career opportunities.  How can the industry accomplish this?  Andy Priester, Chairman and CEO of the world's largest and oldest family-owned Management and Charter company talks about navigating challenges surrounding recruitment, how to attract the right team members and make team members feel more valued.    The more we’re connected, the more job satisfaction our team members can get. - Andy Priester   Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode    How to make your company an employer of choice What are the different ways to make your team members feel more valued? How aviation companies can attract top pilot talent How can we project an image of career consistency that is attractive to pilots? How to hire the right team members What qualities should you look for when hiring applicants?   Guest Bio- Andy Priester serves as Priester Aviation’s Chairman and CEO. He is the third generation of Priesters to lead the business, the world's largest and oldest family-owned Management and Charter company. The Priester family has a rich aviation history starting in 1945, including owning Palwaukee Airport – KPWK (now renamed Chicago Executive Airport), operating a flight school, operating multiple FBOs, providing 145 maintenance services, and operating an aircraft sales division. During Andy’s tenure at Priester, he has grown the fleet from seven to over 65 aircraft they manage from 15 bases globally today. Andy currently sits on the board of the Air Charter Safety Foundation, is current Chair of YPO Chicago – Windy City, and is past Chair of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA). Andy is a proud University of Dayton Flyer and holds a Master’s degree from Concordia University. To find out more, go to: You can also email Andy directly at andyp@priesterav.com or call his office at 847-537-1133.   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 OEMs, 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.
Are You The Office Naysayer? Why Whining & Gossiping Is Ruining Your Career w/Robert Houghton
14-07-2022
Are You The Office Naysayer? Why Whining & Gossiping Is Ruining Your Career w/Robert Houghton
One of the fastest ways to tank a career with a lot of potential is to be the guy or gal known for gossiping, whining and loudly airing discontent. It drags down the morale of the whole office and you become a cancer the company desperately wants to cut out. Instead of being the resident naysayer on the team, how do we show up ready to pull our weight and get the job done with minimal grumbling? In this episode, Robert Houghton returns for our Million Dollar Careers series. Today, we talk about the danger of being the negative person in the office.    "If you take someone who is gossiping, whining and complaining - the opposite is someone who makes a mistake and extremely owns what they do, they are accountable. Those are the leaders a company needs." -Robert Houghton   Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode    The other side of gossiping and complaining What can we learn from a gas station attendant’s act of extreme ownership? What rudderless companies have in common If a company is failing to weed out the gossipers and complainers, what does it say about the organization? How to increase your chance of promotion Could refusing to show up to the office be keeping you from the promotion you want?   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.
What Does a Great Employer-Employee Relationship Look Like?
07-07-2022
What Does a Great Employer-Employee Relationship Look Like?
Over the last few years, what people expect from an employer-employee relationship has shifted significantly, and leaders have to keep up. The days of the traditional clock-in-clock-out, 9-5 job are over. People want real meaning, equity and trust out their companies. How do we progress towards happier workplaces? What are the employees of today seeking from their leaders, and how do so many companies get it wrong? In this episode, solopreneur, strategy consultant, speaker, trainer and author of “The Lovable Leader”, Jeff Gibbard joins me for a great conversation on becoming a leader people will happily follow.   Leaders underestimate how simple it is to make progress toward better. To move towards environments where more people are happy requires small shifts. -Jeff Gibbard   Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode    Why trust is key to a great employer-employee relationship Why does micromanaging say a lot more about the leader than it does the employee? How to deal with activist employees What's at the root of the employer vs. employee friction we see in so many organizations? Why a leader’s first month is mission-critical to their success in the role If the first month of leading a team is rough does that mean it’s the wrong fit?   Guest Bio Jeff Gibbard is a solopreneur, strategy consultant, speaker, trainer and author of The Lovable Leader. Commonly known as the World's Most Handsome Strategist and Professional Speaker. Jeff has noticed that our culture of work glorifies profits over people, burnout over quality of life, and dominance over autonomy. He believes that we can no longer pretend that our work is separate from who we are. Our work is a part of who we are. What we do and how we do it, should be in alignment with who we want to be. For more information and to sign up for Jeff’s newsletter, visit and buy his book “The Lovable Leader: Build Great Teams with Trust, Respect, and Kindness” here.    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.
How Can We Help Veterans Transition Back to Civilian Life? w/General Odie Slocum
30-06-2022
How Can We Help Veterans Transition Back to Civilian Life? w/General Odie Slocum
Over the last 2 decades, the needs of veterans have come into the spotlight more than ever before, and there’s still a huge need to understand the challenges that come with military service. How do we make the transition out of service less difficult? What can civilians and the private sector do to better support the men and women who have served our country? In this episode, Fighter Pilot, Military and Veteran Advocate, Consultant, Speaker, and Coach, Brigadier General Odie Slocum, shares how his organization Others Over Self is helping veterans.   Guest Bio General Odie Slocum is a Fighter Pilot (ret), Military and Veteran Advocate, Consultant, Speaker, and Coach. He works with the organizations Others Over Self and Warriors With Warriors. For more information head to   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.
Million Dollar Careers: The Measure of a Great Organization
23-06-2022
Million Dollar Careers: The Measure of a Great Organization
The mark of a great organization is a leader who empowers their people to make decisions at a tactical level; and employees who can advocate for change within the system. When business owners micromanage and smother their top talent, they make progress impossible. When employees complain about the shortcomings of the company without coming up with real solutions, they can’t thrive in their roles. How do both sides of the business relationship set themselves up for success? In this edition of the Million Dollar Career Series, Robert Houghton and I discuss the entrepreneur trap from two different perspectives.   "It’s your job to figure out how to give the best results in the environment you’re in, with the dollars you have and communicate what the strategy is. If you keep telling people your baby’s ugly, you’re going to fail." -Craig Picken    Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode    How to empower your entire organization What can the military teach us about the danger of extremely hierarchical organizations? What new recruits get wrong How do we advocate for change in a new company without disparaging the people and the system? How to get buy-in from the start We have the most leverage during an interview, but how do we actually use it?   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.
Million Dollar Career Series: If It’s Not a Hell Yes!! It’s a No
16-06-2022
Million Dollar Career Series: If It’s Not a Hell Yes!! It’s a No
Too many people find themselves stressed and burnt out - not because their lives are too busy, but because they’re piling on way more BS on their plates than they need to. Our lives would be way easier if we followed this simple golden rule: if it’s not a hell yeah, it’s a no. Whether it’s jobs, business opportunities or even social commitments, we need to value our time by saying no to what doesn’t serve us. How do we escape the trap of overcommitting? When we actually do want to say no, what’s the best way to say it? In this episode, executive recruiter and the President of MR Fairfax, Robert Houghton returns for our Million Dollar Career Series, and today we talk about valuing our time by getting used to the word no.   "If you want to say no to something, tell them why it’s a no straight up. It has to be one reason, not two, three or four." -Robert Houghton    Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  Why so many give their power away by overcommitting When it comes to valuing our time, what can we learn from Warren Buffett’s approach? The importance of valuing your time How do we avoid being someone’s patsy and getting taken advantage of by overcommitting? The root of burnout and frustration How does overcommitting impact the way we show up in different areas of our lives?   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.