San Francisco Fleet Week is an annual public event that honors the contributions of the men and women of the United States Armed Forces while advancing cooperation and knowledge among civilian and military personnel. As the largest and most significant event of its kind in the nation, Fleet Week features a unique training and education program in humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

It’s a special weekend each October when thousands line the shoreline, visit ships to meet sailors and other military personnel, attend education programs at Crissy Field, and gather on rooftops to watch spectacular air shows that culminate each afternoon with a breathtaking performance by the Blue Angels.

The Blues, the U.S. Navy’s world-renowned flight demonstration team, perform 70 awe-inspiring programs for 11 million spectators each year. What makes them such an outstanding team?

In addition to being some of the world’s best fighter pilots, the Blues are an extraordinarily unified team. They have to be because this is dangerous work. There have been over 50 accidents in the 69 years the Blues have been flying, resulting, sadly, in the death of 27 Blue Angel pilots.

During the thousands of flying hours each year, these pilots have total reliance on one other. One solidifying factor is their core values of trust, respect, accountability, integrity, and commitment. These values drive everything they do to build an effective team, establish a cohesive culture, and define a code of conduct, rules, and policies.

When flying at a combined speed of almost 1,400 miles per hour toward an opposing plane to cross only a few feet apart at the “center point” or preforming loops and rolls in the diamond formation only 18 inches apart, Blue Angel pilots need to trust that their teammates will perform each of their parts in a given maneuver exactly right.

Aspire to be like the Blues. Make sure your team, your organization, your company is driven to the highest level of excellence possible based on a set of solid core values.