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Fly Fearlessly and Soar to New Heights


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Peter Zaccagnino always wanted to design, build, and fly airplanes. So he earned his undergraduate degree in aeronautical engineering and got his pilot’s license.

Since then, he’s logged over 23,000 hours on 270 different aircraft, flight-tested over 685 types of aircraft, and built three himself. He’s a four-time air racing gold champion and the author of multiple books. He’s traveled to every country in the world except Madagascar and even managed to survive a scary experience in Pakistan.

Peter enjoys the creative aspect of the design process and the adventure of flying around the world and traveling different routes. Hear his fascinating adventures in this episode of Motivational Mondays!

Managing a Team to Set Them up for Success

Managing a private jet means you're responsible for financial concerns, the flight itself, and the management of an asset no one wants to depreciate. You need the right people on your team and need to be able to ask the right questions to keep people on task. Your team has to be accountable and needs the right tools. You must show them the path to success using methods such as transformation leadership.

Peter is always asking if his team is getting what they need and what they feel is important to reaching their goals. Building a competent culture begins the moment someone is hired and accountability must be consistent. Leaders should celebrate successes and manage their teams following failures. In aviation, a proper feedback loop can verify things in an industry where the potential consequences can be extreme.

Learning Empathy from Interacting with Other Cultures

Of all the countries Peter has traveled, his favorite was Thailand because of the people, food, and culture. He firmly believes that you need to experience culture through the eyes of the locals. When you experience a culture and engage with them, you can also learn from them. 

Peter has met some of the happiest people in the world in the Philippines, where their daily income is $1-2 a day. They don’t want a $20 tip—that’s not the empathy they’re looking for. They want you to feel the richness of their culture. They are rich in ways that Americans aren’t.

The adventure isn’t tied to where you’re traveling, it’s tied to the people you encounter. You have to understand their perspective on the world.

Learn More about Peter’s Book, Relevant

Peter’s book, Relevant: A Military Thriller Inspired by True Events, is a military spy thriller. When he wrote the book, he intended to shine light on a delicate topic about understanding cultures. Through the book’s narrative, Peter took the opportunity to refer to historical references and topics that aren’t easy to discuss. He wants his readers to be inquisitive and learn what’s going on in various countries—not just what the media shows you. You need to look at things as a citizen of the world and be responsible for your words and actions, as they do have an impact. 

To learn more about air racing and the curated world tours that Peter creates for his clients, listen to the whole episode!

Listen to this episode to learn about...

  • [2:00] When Peter’s interest in aviation began
  • [4:04] How to manage a team to set them up for success
  • [7:27] What an air race in a jet is actually like
  • [9:22] His high-intensity, curated world tours for clients
  • [10:43] Gaining empathy from interacting with other cultures
  • [13:30] Where Peter’s travels have taken him
  • [15:51] Peter’s book, Relevant

Listen to the bonus episode to learn how technology and politics inspired Peter's latest book and insider travel tips he learned during the COVID shutdown.