Lesson #11: Leadership Lessons from the Cockpit
Once a pilot learns how to fly, he or she must then develop the skills of navigation.
“Don’t chase the needle!”
These were the words barked by my instructor early in my flight training. He was referring to the “needle” on the Course Deviation Indicator (CDI): an instrument that shows deviation from the desired course. The goal is to keep the needle centered to assure that you are on course, but to do that well, you must consistently monitor it and make the necessary adjustments quickly and often.
The key is to make small course corrections and wait to see the effect on the CDI before making additional changes. Correct-monitor-adjust…correct-monitor-adjust. This becomes a continuous process throughout the flight until we reach our destination.
How do you determine true course correction for your business?
Ironically, it’s no different in business. First, you must understand where you’re navigating to and then how to gauge whether you’re on track by using your own “CDI.”
A scorecard can serve as your own custom CDI to help you see trends early and make the necessary changes to stay on track. For example, you may need an average of 30 “warm leads” per week to stay on track with your sales goals. By monitoring the weekly trend, you’ll know early on whether a course correction is needed. If you don’t monitor often enough, you may get way off track before you’re even aware that an action is required.
“Chasing the needle” in the cockpit is a sign the pilot is getting behind the airplane. It doesn’t work in the cockpit and certainly won’t work for your business. You can avoid this by monitoring key metrics weekly and making small adjustments, often.
Make small course corrections often, and you’re assured to stay on course!
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