The findings of Bienefeld and Grote’s study has implications for selection and training of crew to perform within and across teams for enhanced aviation safety . The salient points were:-
Selection of MTS aircrews is to be based on the leadership potential of the crew, who can undertake shared leadership to be able to optimally utilise leadership requirements both within and across teams effectively. Especially for pursers, individuals with high leadership potential is recommended to be selected.
Crew resource management training for captains and pursers, the ‘boundary spanners’  may need a realignment about their perceived understanding of their roles. The teams must discuss the complementary roles and responsibilities of team members, while actively practicing delegation of tasks and “explicitly taking on tasks” “to sharpen a sense of shared goals “. This encourages delegation of leadership tasks in emergencies while mobilizing all resources in MTS in actual emergency situations.
The high leadership potential of pursers is to be supported during training to “focus on the duality of within- and across-team leadership”. At the same time, captains, on top of the hierarchy, need to learn “about what it takes to establish a sense of leader inclusiveness” , “thereby empowering pursers without undermining a captain’s authority” .
Based on the concept of rotating leadership , It is suggested that flight attendants need to be actively involved in shared leadership process with training focussed on their proactive engagement in leadership behaviour when “formal leaders have failed to explicitly ask for help”. This is to nurture initiative and stepping up “to share the lead with pursers”. Airlines, as part of policy and procedure, may choose to designate one experienced flight attendant as “second in command” during preflight briefing for every flight.
Lastly to obviate unsuccessful MTS, joint leadership and crew resource management training is recommended. The training is to include practice of shared leadership strategies such as ‘rotating leadership’  in simulated conditions, applying cross-training methods with swapping of roles “to develop shared mental models of team interaction and facilitating coordination across roles and teams” .
In words of Bienefeld and Grote: “Leadership training in MTS should address shared rather than merely vertical forms of leadership, and component teams in MTS should be trained together with emphasis on ‘boundary spanners’ dual leadership role. Furthermore, team members should be empowered to engage in leadership processes when required” .
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Acknowledgement Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons