According to a new study from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Oregon, the type of risk-seeking behavior that motivates people to fly could also make them more effective as corporate leaders and CEOs. The study had looked at 179 companies led by CEOs who were also pilots and 2,900 companies that were led by non-pilots and the researchers found that the pilot-led companies tended to do better by certain benchmarks.
Specifically, Matthew Cain, an Assistant Professor of Finance at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, noted that pilot led companies:
- Had significantly more leverage and debt.
- Had volatile stock prices.
- Were 1.35 times more likely to execute an acquisition in a year.
In addition, it was noted that pilot led companies tended to execute better and higher quality acquisitions that created more value for their firms.
Professor Cain also pointed that:
Piloting small aircraft as a hobby is more risky than driving a motorcycle, flying a helicopter, or even crop-dusting. Thus, the research shows, these CEOs exhibit a clear willingness to engage in risky activities for the sake of pleasure.
Hence, we want to ask you our readers what you think: Do pilots really make better CEOs or corporate leaders? Moreover, have you ever worked for a company led by a pilot CEO or have you ever reported to a manager or executive who was also a pilot? If so, what were the noticeable differences?