Daniel Siegenthaler has been a professional military pilot since 1993. He has been a member of the the Patrouille Suisse since 1997 and was its leader between 2005 and 2009. Established over 40 years ago, the Patrouille Suisse is the Swiss Air Force’s official jet aerobatic team and an acclaimed Swiss Armed Forces’ figurehead at home and abroad. All team members work as professional military pilots or as air traffic controllers with the Swiss aviation navigation company Skyguide, performing their team duties only during the respective season.
Space in the skies can get a little cramped when the Patrouille Suisse is flying its formations. Team spirit is absolutely crucial – the pilots must possess strong communication skills and be able to recognise any errors within a split second. Each team member is responsible for the balance of the entire group. Although there is no hierarchy amongst the pilots, there is a clear leader for formation flight whom the other pilots follow unconditionally. Clear communication skills, the capacity to take criticism and use it in a positive way and discipline are the building blocks of team spirit. Team members need to be able to value and trust one another and have a common goal – to perform a perfect display as safely as humanly possible.
As a leader, Siegenthaler has completed further training in the fields of coaching and team leadership, which allow him to link theoretical and practical aspects of team management. Team management, leadership, team spirit, risk, common goals, clear communication and mutual trust are attributes that are equally important in the world of aviation and the top echelons of industry and commerce.
Siegenthaler bridges the gap between the high precision of military aviation and the complex business world, and applies the principles and findings from military formation flight to the practice of the modern enterprise. The same leadership and team qualities are instrumental to success and survival in both spheres. Based on the Patrouille Suisse, he demonstrates compellingly and with stunning film footage which factors define and make a team, teamwork and team performance.