Who’s Flying Your Plane?

When I sit down and talk to business owners, one of the things I hear a lot is that their business is running them instead of them running their business.  I recently listened to a great speaker, Amelia Rose Earhart (no relation to the famous Amelia Earhart), share her perspective of how running a business can be like flying a plane. 

Here are the Top 3 Lessons I took away from Amelia’s talk.

1 – Show up every day as the pilot in command of your business. 

The pilot has several jobs, including checking the wind speed and direction.  Do you have headwinds or tailwinds today?  What is your plan to either counter or take advantage of them?  As you look at your own plans, how much baggage did you bring with you?  What can you do to lighten your load?  Ask your team the same thing, and have them check their baggage at the door.

2 – Continually observe 360° around your business. 

Maintain situational awareness of what is going on both in and around your business.  Is there anything pulling you off course?  Does everyone on the team know today’s heading, today’s goals?

3 – Aviate, Navigate, Communicate

Keep the plane in the air, keep it flying.  Once airborne, make sure everyone knows the correct heading and make the course corrections necessary to get you where you want to go.  This might mean abandoning Plan A and going to Plan B, C, or D.  We rarely get where we are going in life in a perfectly straight line, so monitor your course and make corrections when necessary. 

Last but not least, when you change course, be sure to let the team know the new plan.  When you don’t, they keep heading in the current direction because they didn’t notice that you went off course.  You’ve got to communicate.

There are three types of people involved in flying – passengers, the pilot, and air traffic control.  As the owner, you need to be the pilot, and not a passenger.  Don’t just go along for the ride as a passenger like the rest of your team when you’re on your own plane.  Climb in the cockpit, look at the instrument panel, grab the controls and start flying. Your passengers (team) are counting on you to get them to the planned destination.

The third component of the team flying your plane is Air Traffic Control, who is looking out miles in all directions to help you navigate safely.  In the business world, your air traffic controller (ATC) might be your coach, someone looking out for your interests at a higher level, someone who can always keep their eye on the bigger picture for you.  They recommend the course corrections you might want to think about and help you optimize your course for the given conditions. 

If you would like some help charting and maintaining your course, let’s schedule a 30 minute call to discuss how we can come up with your Flight Plan.

Author: Mark McNulty, Business Coach in Louisville, KY

Who’s Flying Your Plane?