Danny Antons, Project Lead for the Airbus Ramp-Up 2.0 Initiative, has an impressive track record in the Fly Your Ideas competition. Having previously mentored Birdport (finalists, 2015) and DaeLead (winners, 2017), Danny will soon be returning to the Live Final for the third time with Team Move-ez. Today, Danny shares his wisdom with Fly Your Ideas fans around the world!
What are the secrets to Fly Your Ideas success?
In my perspective, several key elements are required to become a finalist team. First, a collaborative team spirit. They act as a team and they understand that everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses. In this way, they think about how to steer the activities in the best way, so that everybody can do their best.
The enthusiasm for the challenge is another important factor. Even if something is not working well, they always keep looking for solutions.
They also have a clear roadmap. They take care of the planning and what needs to be organised to be on time.
How would you describe your mentoring style?
I always believe in the dynamic of the teams. I try to encourage the teams to be creative, think outside of the box and be inspired by their environment, sometimes nature can be your best teacher.
The team members often know very well what needs to be done, but they are not always confident about their approach. I try to show different options and provide an outside perspective.
Fly Your Ideas gives students a platform to learn from Airbus employees, but as a Mentor, have you learned something from the teams?
Yes, many things! I have learned that teamwork and diversity are the major success factors for becoming a finalist team.
We know that you remain in touch with your former mentees and have even attended the wedding of one finalist. What is the value of the connections made through Fly Your Ideas, for both the Mentor and the students?
If you are going together through such a journey to the final round, you build up a close relationship with the teams. During the preparation time, we have frequent Skype meetings together and share numerous WhatsApp messages. The team involve me in their exchanges, and we get to know one other.
What do you enjoy most about Fly Your Ideas?
For me it’s a gift to have the opportunity to get in touch with these guys and sometimes even become good friends. They share the enthusiasm and collaborative spirit with me, and this makes me feel good! It’s inspiring!