“The Eagles” Final – Virginie Guyot, Fighter Pilot: True Leaders Inspire a Shared Purpose


While the majority of people in this world enjoy a level of freedom that far exceeds that of their ancestors, in many regards, the attitudes of humanity have not kept pace.

To accomplish the targets we set for ourselves in life and succeed in our objectives, we need much more than scientific knowledge, practical training, or specific first-hand experiences. We need to have a purpose.

What’s your purpose?


Having a purpose represents the first step on the critical journey to achieving self-belief. Without self-belief, your dreams will remain exactly that: dreams.

It’s difficult to know where you’re going unless you know who you are and understand your truth.

Don’t expect to be successful without facing challenges. No one has ever succeeded without facing rejection, disappointment, and failure at some point along the way.


To create your life roadmap, you must first identify and prioritize your values. Doing so will give you full clarity as to what you need in life as opposed to what you simply desire.


This blog post is very special to me. It is with great honor and heart-filled emotion that I introduce you to an incredible woman who has carved out a spectacular career for herself as a fighter pilot in the French Air Force: Virginie Guyot.

On August, 2008, at the age of just 32, Virginie Guyot was the first woman to join the Patrouille de France. She progressed to assume command, a responsibility that represents a world first in acrobatic patrols.

For this blog post, Virginie agreed to share some fascinating insights into the factors that have had a real influence on her life and achievements and that have helped her to achieve her personal and professional goals.

59 1064-09 1049

Virginie’s father, who was also in the military, introduced to her the world of aeronautics when she was still a child. At just 12 years old, she had an opportunity to experience first hand the sense of freedom and elation that accompanies flight when she was fortunate to experience her baptism of air.

However, Virginie’s father taught her much more than just the mechanics and skills of flight. He taught her about the world, about war, and about people. Most importantly, he taught her how important it is to have a purpose in life.

Virginie ultimately chose to serve and defend her country; she chose to become a fighter pilot in the French Air Force and, against all odds, not only did she do so, but she also successfully progressed to break records.

No career path is impossible. The path is only impossible if you don’t know where you want to go and why.

Time is precious, and every life is unique. Every individual follows their own path; their own adventure.


Every day we struggle to make sense of life, people, and the differences and complexity around us. What motivates the people we interact with? What are they afraid of in life? More importantly, what helps successful people to maintain a strong belief in themselves. A belief that is so strong it ultimately helps them become who they want to be?

How can we persuade or inspire these people?

What is a leader?

True leaders focus on much more than personal satisfaction alone. They stand for a cause, and this cause is not self-motivated, it involves everyone. They put their full hearts and minds into everything they do.

Your heart is your most important tool. Effective communication skills and strong management focus is not enough.

In the end, it all comes down to your heart. It is the passion inside you that matters the most. Everything you desire and create comes from that passion.

Desire leads to determination leads to motivation and, ultimately, action. Strong leaders have strong hearts and can read challenges and people with true intensity and effectiveness.


Be that leader.

To achieve your goals and get the results you want, you need to harness a people-centric approach to leadership. Every day, organizations the world over place their focus on conquering new consumer markets. Yet, the ultimate achievements of these efforts depends on the true key to business success: people.


Invest your time and effort in understanding the methods you can use to ensure the people on your team buy in to your vision and strive to work collectively to achieve it. A real leader’s skills extend far beyond the capacity to engage and inspire: They have a strong sense of purpose and the ability to encourage others to prescribe to that purpose.

In the end, we are not corporations; we are humans. If you lose your heart, you have lost everything.


Ana Paula Araujo Mendes


Many Thanks to:


Commandant Virginie Guyot, is a fighter pilot of the Armée de l’Air

Leader of the Patrouille de France 2010. The first woman in the world to command a precision aerobatic demonstration team.

04 1064-09 0639 R1

Mrs. Léa Seguier, Director of Communication & Mrs. Astrid de VANNOISE

La Réserve Paris – Hotel and Spa


Interview photos: Audran Sazier


Ana Paula Araujo Mendes

Executive Strategic Advisor | Dedicated to Aerospace & Defense industry | International Institutional Relations Manager.