He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience. Years later, Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant having dinner, when a man at another table came up and said, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!” “How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb. “I packed your parachute,” the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, “I guess it worked!” Plumb assured him, “It sure did. If your chute hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t be here today.” Plumb was obviously grateful to the man for doing such a good job packing his chute, yet because he was a fighter pilot and the man was just a sailor, he couldn’t help but wonder how many times he might have seen him years ago and not said good morning, or asked him how he was. Who Packs Your Parachute? As CEO’s and executive decisions makers, we rely on a variety of “parachutes” to get the job done. Mental, emotional, even spiritual parachutes help guide decision-making, giving us the confidence we need to excel. The people who fill these roles are an integral part of our journey and it makes sense to not only recognize their value, but acknowledge that we appreciate them for a job well done. Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. It could be as simple as failing to say hello, please or thank you, or congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them. In business as well as in our personal lives, taking time to think about those colleagues, friends, and loved ones who add value to our lives is a smart way to stay grounded, focused and in control. And while we may never have to rely on a well-packed parachute for survival, even the most experienced among us can benefit from a helping hand along the way.