Mark Tyler’s “Why”

December 4, 2023

Mark Tyler, VP & General Manager / Precision Aircraft Services (PAS), Peachtree City, Georgia

“Our work at PAG is about serving others, colleagues, customerswhoever needs the support we can provide.”

A man I worked for in the 1990’s introduced me to The Purpose Driven Life, a book by Rick Warren. I’ve always remembered the first four words: “IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.”

I had served in the Airforce, supporting pilot training and as a civilian at Fort Rucker, supporting Army pilot trainings. At the time, I didn’t realize that I needed to clarify my purpose, “the why I do what I do.”

But I have often considered what would happen if I could live those first four words. What if I could spend my career living them? What if parents, married couples, politicians, sons and daughters everywhere put others first, how would our lives be different, our world?

“Our work at PAG is about serving others, colleagues, customerswhoever needs the support we can provide.”

– Mark Tyler, VP & General Manager / Precision Aircraft Services (PAS), Peachtree City, Georgia

The second day I worked at Carraway Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, as one of two lifesaver helicopter mechanics, I clarified my “why.”

Standing outside talking to the security guard, a loud squelch came on the radio. It was a call to their pilots to scramble the lifesaver helicopters.
I wasn’t sure what to do next. I could go into the office and hide. But I felt it was important to understand what’s going on and see what we, as a team, are doing here.

Doctors and nurses came out, loaded the helicopters and took off. I stayed on the roof to observe. One aircraft came back. The crew deployed rapidly onto the roof and brought the stretcher right past me. It carried a young lady. A single small blood spot soiled the wrap around her head. It was a self-inflicted gunshot ─ a suicide attempt. That afternoon, my hour-long drive home was obliterated. I wept bitterly, broken by what I had seen. I was upset by her situation and wondered “what could cause her to do that?”

“How was your ride home?” the pilot asked. “It was terrible, I replied. “You have to look at this as a job, you can’t get so emotionally involved in every flight.”
He was partially correct, it was a job, but for me, it became more of a purpose. I would pray every time the radio went off for that flight. In time, I came to understand my purpose. I had to do whatever I could to provide a safe and legal aircraft. That’s what I did.

Years later, I read the book Why, by Simon Sinek.  This book taught me the important of understanding and writing down why we do what we do. It has to be emotional, and it cannot be about money. Money is a result of your why, not the reason.

Why We Do What We Do
I knew my why from working EMS helicopters. My purpose statement was “to provide a safe and legal aircraft to transport life saving personnel to aide in the relief of suffering for my fellow man.” It’s bigger than I am, it’s not about me, and it’s bigger than money. 

That’s why when pilots called me at 2:00 or 3:00 am, I answered the phone by asking “Are you ok, where are you, what’s wrong?” More often than you want to think, they called. Our job was to support them, they only called when they needed us. I’ve traveled to many places in the middle of the night, empty parking lots, cow pastures, middle of the interstate, I have repaired and moved helicopters right out of I-20 while State Troopers directed traffic around me.

When David Mast asked me to come to work for PAG, I said, “if I can find my why, I would.” It is this…

– To provide our customers a safe and legal aircraft that meets or exceeds OEM standards and regulatory compliance.
– To create excellence in everything we do, utilizing the essential tools of integrity, commitment, communication, customer service, and personal and professional development.
– To ensure our customers’ safety and success will ensure our success.
– To always go the extra mile.

My personal “why” statement is:  I am a builder of people.

My purpose is:

– To serve others with love, compassion and empathy.
– To connect and lead in the way of truth and understanding.
– To build people which in turn builds everything.

I haven’t shared this as much as I should, but I believe in creating this vision for PAS. I share it with the people we hire. I ask people I interview what their vision is. Most do not have a vision or an idea, they just want a job. Some won’t call me back once they know they need a vision. Everyone working here that I’ve hired, has a stated vision.

About PAG

Others Sell Parts, We Sell Support.

PAG is built on the trust of our customers, and our team members are an important part of our successful, growing business that is committed to customer service. We’ve built our legacy on our ability to respond and deliver the highest quality.

At PAG, employees get the exchange of talent, experiences, and resources of multiple companies all while working for one. With 22 Repair Stations, and over 900,000-square-feet of sales and service facilities in the United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Brazil – PAG’s 24 locations and customer-focused business model serve aviation customers through Supply Chain and Inventory Supported Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (ISMRO®) services. PAG is one of only 11 companies, outside of OEMs, to collectively hold all FAA certifications.

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