Ethics, Turbulence, Leadership and Integrity

Last week I flew to Driggs Idaho where we held our BYU Wheatley Ethics Advisory Council retreat. I’d never been to Driggs or Jackson Hole so I was really excited to get to see both places for the first time. But we had a bit of a harrowing experience on the trip when the Pilatus eight passenger plane we were flying in hit an unexpected pocket of extreme turbulence that came out of nowhere and caused the plane to jolt so hard people hit their heads on the ceiling of the airplane. I unfortunately had loosened my seat belt earlier on the flight to lean across the aisle way of the plane when my husband wanted to show me something out his window and I’d forgotten to tighten my belt back up afterward. When the plane jolted it slammed me into the ceiling like a rag doll, bending my neck and shoulders down hard enough to cause some crazy bruising on my lower back. I thought I might have broken some ribs that caused the internal bruising but we had x-rays taken and I am fortuate that is not the case. I’ll just be dealing with a sore neck and back for a few weeks it looks like…and probably a little PTSD about riding in airplanes for awhile. Let’s just say I am grateful that when we first got onto the airplane that someone in our group suggested we all say a prayer before takeoff because we needed watching over that flight.

During the retreat we were privileged to hear from Air Force, Four Star General Robert C. Oaks and his son Colonel Derek Oaks (both retired now). They recently released a new book that they cowrote called “Rising Above: Gaining Perspective, Confidence and Control In Flight and Life” (you can purchase a copy of the book here: In the discussion they shared stories of life lessons they learned from some different experiences they’d each had during their time in the Air Force. I wish I could have video recorded the entire discussion for all of you because it was so awesome!

Also on this retreat our council discussed the importance of integrity and ethics and ideas for spreading the message of their importance to students at the University and across the world. The importance of having integrity is something I am unbelievably passionate about and its a message I try to share every time I public speak. I express my feelings on the subject in an article I wrote for Forbes called Success Will Come And Go But Integrity Is Forever

Have a great day everyone! Buckle up your seat belts and be happy to be alive! I know I am 🙂

~Amy Rees Anderson


  • Randon Morford says:

    Amy, So sorry to hear about the trauma from the turbulence. I hope you heal quickly and effectively.
    The book from General and Colonel Oaks sounds very interesting. I am searching for some guest speakers for a youth leadership camp and they sound like the kind of people we are looking for.

    • Derek Oaks says:

      My dad and I are more than willing to participate. He does not travel like he used to, is more willing to sit while talking, but still gets a charge out of sharing his views on leadership, God, and how we treat each other. I also love it, but don’t pretend to hold a candle to my dad and his message. You can reach my through my website, or direct at

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