Successful Business Management & Flying Safe – 4 Things They Have in Common
I started flying again this month, after a year’s hiatus. There’s a picture of the Velocity I fly below. Flying demands a level of attention that nothing else I do requires. It is something that makes me feel emotionally transported and refreshed on most flights. It’s also a high performance activity that requires consistency and competence to stay ahead of the plane – not unlike what’s required for success at work. Let’s talk about 4 things that work for both.
Part of flying safe is being current, having regularly put in time piloting the plane. And when you’re flying you’re expected to know three things all the time:
1. Where are you going?
2. What’s your flight path, heading and next fix or milestone?
3. What time do you expect to be at the next milestone – e.g. regular progress updates?
Said in a different way, flying safe is knowing where you’re at, where you expect to be and by when. It’s called staying ahead of the plane. And its the same in business… except often it’s missing.
I’ve had two coaching conversations this week with executives that serve as an example. But both people fell behind because they weren’t tracking these three areas, they were busy doing other stuff. Invariably, to get better results at work, whether that’s an initiative, a project, or a personal goal… you’ve got to regularly get things done that are directly related to success.
In business terms, think of it as tracking Outcomes, What’s next and Updates. It’s a process that keeps you working on the business, and it is decidely different than working on the next task, attending the next meeting and plowing through you email inbox. It’s something that most of us need to put on the schedule, otherwise we get distracted and stop being consistent about it.
You probably already know the basics of what to do to meet your next goal, or can easily find out. The challenge is putting in the time and not getting distracted by a myriad of demands and requests coming at you, nor inconsistent because your commitment was only as good as your personal “want to” index on a given day.
Gerber outlined the same realism in his book the E-Myth. That being, that most of us, most business owners and executives don’t invest enough time working ON the business, as we’re so easily consumed working in the business.
Warning: Tip #4. I don’t think most people use effective strategies and technology to “stay ahead” of their business outcomes, plan and updates. You certainly can’t do it with email and meetings. I use ManagePro as my technology backbone to keep me ahead of the process. It functions the same as my GPS in the plane. It provides the structure for reminding me and visually laying out the focus, planning and tracking involved in staying ahead.
Let me know what works for you. And in the mean time be sure to sign up to get my blog regularly, I’ll be covering more tips on staying ahead of your business and all the associated information and people management issues involved.
If you work these four issues consistently, you’ll like the results at work. They are:
1. Where are you going – what’s the outcome?
2. What’s your plan for getting there? – work it.
3. When’s the next update on progress due?
Do you need to course correct?
4. Use a technology that tracks it all for you – a business management GPS.