Sharon Preszler

Keynote Speaker, Transition Coach,
Fighter Pilot

Navigating Career Turbulence

WorkLife with Adam Grant – TED

April 5, 2021

Sharon Preszler: [00:00:00] When I was a little, little kid, I was a four years old on my first airplane ride. And we got to go up front in the cockpit, you know, cause you could kind of do that back then. It was totally dark, no moon over the Atlantic ocean. There is like a billion stars in the sky. And I went back and told my mom, I wanted to be a stewardess and my mom to her credit, she left me, “Honey, you might want to think about being a pilot,” and there you go. That’s what I wanted to do from then on

Adam Grant: [00:00:28] Sharon Preszler has flown lots of different kinds of airplanes since then, including fighter jets. She was the first woman in the U S air force to fly the F-16.

Sharon: [00:00:38] It’s always just been the coolest looking airplane, that bubble canopy and the big engine inlet. [00:00:42] It has the highest G tolerance, which is nine times the force of gravity on the earth, which is significant. It can do anything.

Adam: [00:00:51] Sharon’s had an extraordinary career spanning more than three decades, but recently after 14 years as a pilot with Southwest airlines, she hit a particularly bad [00:01:00] patch of turbulence. Her whole industry did.

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