Oct 9, 2019
Caroline “Blaze” Jensen dreamt of being a jet fighter at a time when
women weren’t allowed to fly. Luckily, thanks to mentors and others
who paved the way, she was able to live out her dream as an Air
Force Thunderbird pilot. “Blaze” talks about her accomplishment of
being the first mom to become a Thunderbird pilot, what her
experience as a Legislative Aide for the Senate taught her, and
what lessons and character traits apply to leadership and business.
She also discusses the importance of taking constructive criticism,
time for reflection and solitude, and accomplishing goals as
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[2:33] Caroline has an extremely
impressive bio, but one of her greatest accomplishments and primary
jobs is being a single mom to her 10-year-old son.
[2:33] Caroline dreamt of being
in the Air Force from a young age, but women weren’t allowed to
fly. Her dad was consistent with his support for her dream and even
introduced to her Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) who became
her cherished mentors. Caroline credits much of her success to the
giants that blazed the trail before her.
[3:36] Being a great leader
doesn’t mean working around the clock or sending out emails 24/7.
We are more productive when we are rested, and reprioritization is
an ongoing skill to make sure we are taking care of our
[12:40] Our society is becoming
less focused on gender and more focused on what it is we put out in
the world, and what skills we have. Caroline looks forward to a
time where gender matters even less at work.
[15:28] As a Legislative Aids
for the US Senate, Caroline had a great experience with
hard-working people. She was blown away at how busy the members of
[22:00] Caroline was a high
profile recruiter for the Air Force, and she took much pride in
being a champion for the service branch.
[28:14] Thunderbird pilots can
fly as close as 18 inches apart at top speed. It takes complete
focus and attention to detail. Caroline names the following
attributes as both important in the Thunderbirds and in
must build trust in your team, and look out for the greater good of
everything is learned or mastered at once. Use building blocks to
meet your goals.
have to learn how to take constructive criticism and grow from
open to feedback from team members and to the debriefing
how to succeed, but also look for the learning lesson when you
[37:05] While the video game
revolution may produce some good fighter pilots with quick thinking
and solid reflexes, leaders still need time for reflection and
Challenge: Serve your country and community. Do something to make
the lives of your fellow man
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need to make sure we are taking care of the people at home who are
taking care of us.”
skills and the way you conduct yourself, that what speaks for you,
not what your chromosomes are.”
feel really fortunate that I get to recruit the future and
represent the past.”
- “Sometimes you win, and sometimes you
of the easiest ways to get your point across is to lead by
- “Sometimes people learn more from failure than
Twitter | Tedx Talk
Air Force Thunderbirds |
Air Force Capt. Nathan
Women Airforce Service Pilots
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Score Higher Than Men in Most Leadership Skills
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