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Leading from the Core

Is Your Organization Powered Up to Achieve Your Vision ?

Lesson #31: Leadership Lessons from the Cockpit
Posted on June 8th, 2021 by Randall Taussig

Airplanes need enough power to takeoff and fly to their destination. Your business needs the same type of power to achieve your vision. How can pilots and business owners ensure they have enough power during all stages of the journey?

My wife and I are preparing to fly for a getaway weekend to Cedar Key, Florida. To ensure a safe trip to our destination, I will need to focus on the conditions that I have control over and recognize those I don’t.

Business owners need to have the same understanding of their own conditions in order to achieve their vision.

What Do We Control?

I already know that the runway at Cedar Key is shorter than most. In fact, at 2,355 feet, it’s the shortest public runway in Florida. While I can’t control the length or direction of a runway, I can choose to fly an aircraft with the right power and design to accommodate a small runway. The aircraft can’t be too big or too heavy and certainly must have enough power. I know that my plane has the design capabilities to meet the criteria, but only if other conditions are met too.

Businesses also need to operate within the right design limits. When you have the right people in the right seats who believe in your vision, your business is lean and mean, and doesn’t get weighed down. If some employees don’t share your core values or have the right talent, they’re like excess baggage. You might as well pile heavy bricks into the airplane’s cabin.  It will never get off the ground. Same for your business!

What We Can’t Control

There will be conditions on the day of my trip that I won’t have control over but need to recognize and consider for a safe flight. This includes things like the outside temperature, visibility and wind direction/speed. All of these factors affect the performance of my airplane and my ability to land and takeoff safely. In the end, I must determine if we have the right conditions for a safe flight or whether we must postpone our trip.

In your business, you can’t control things like a pandemic or the economy. Restaurant owners who intended to expand pre-pandemic, had to reassess conditions when the pandemic hit. While 2020 turned into survival mode and not the right time to open new restaurants, many were able to shift direction by offering carry-out, using government funding, and putting on hold those dreams of expansion until conditions were right – hopefully soon!

The Takeaway

Whether you’re flying an airplane or running a business, you need the power and the designed equipment behind you to reach your destination and achieve your vision. You can only focus on those factors within your control and wait for the right moment when those out-of-your-control factors are aligned. Having an operating system in place such as EOS gives you the disciplines and tools you need to realize your vision.

I challenge you to think about your business, your people and your vision. What conditions are in your control? What conditions are out of your control? How are you preparing your business to capitalize when the timing is right?

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