How is your business flying?

How is your business flying?

Being in business can sometimes feel like you’re flying in a Boeing 747.

The excitement of the take off feels great.  You’re climbing into the sky and nothing can stop you or slow you down.

The plane levels out and you take the seat belt off for a comfortable flight.  But suddenly there’s turbulence and the ride becomes a little rocky.  The pilot levels the plane by changing altitude or flying around the “bad air” and you settle back in for the rest of the flight.

What if that turbulence just doesn’t go away?  The plane is constantly shuddering while you’re trying to read your book or do some work.  Now your enjoyable flight is in the hands of others.  Will they be able to smooth out your flight in time for you to settle back into comfort mode?

Flying is just like being in business

In business we would all like a smooth take off, hoping the business will run smoothly each and every day. We’d also like to think that the business we build can run smoothly without us being there constantly. We then look towards the end, hoping it happens without incident and that all the passengers (team members and customers) arrive safely too.

Turbulence in business can come in the form of disruptive team members, disgruntled customers, unreliable suppliers, natural disasters, poor systems and poor management. How you, the pilot of that business decides to get through it, will impact on your passengers greatly.

You don’t need to fly alone

The good news is you don’t have to fly it alone. You are best to reach out to your network and other support mechanisms to find a way to help you through it. There are specialised coaches and mentors who have gone through possibly similar turbulent times and will know how to navigate those times with you.

Just like flying a plane, you need to check your flight panel to see what the indicators are showing you, and find adjustments need to be made to bring your business back onto a smooth flight path. This may require consulting with your crew and having their support to manage the passengers for you while you’re concentrating on the more important issues. Or you could consult an outside observer who will not be emotionally involved in the flying of that business.

Are you fighting fires?

Many times I hear the business owner saying they can’t get to the really important tasks of their business because they’re too busy putting out fires. Do you ever see the pilot coming to put out the fires on a plane? (I know there aren’t too many fires on a plan literally!) As business owners, sometimes we can get too involved in the everyday problems of others taking them on as our own, which distracts us from our really important issues of flying the plane!

If you’re the business owner, you know you have certain responsibilities to fly that business to its ultimate destination landing it smoothly at the end. Yes, turbulence is a factor of flying. Demanding passengers are going to also be a factor, as are crew members with human wants and needs. As the pilot you have to manage all these risks while keeping an eye on your own performance.

No pilot flies alone, so know when you need to reach out and get support from those who can help guide that business effectively to its destination. And then hopefully it can become a smoother flight.

©2011 Michelle Gargar

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