Like many people, I’ve been away on holiday with my family. I love getting away, and spending some time with them is really important to me. I return to work (for a break!) feeling refreshed and re-energised.
This year, we were lucky enough to see the Red Arrows perform one of their fabulous air displays. I remember being mesmerised watching the Red Arrows as a child and I was keen for my boys to see this British spectacle. I certainly wasn’t disappointed in what I saw.
9 aircraft flying with incredible precision, doing unbelievable aerobatics and making the crowds applaud their seemingly daring manoeuvres, whilst the 10th member of the team gave a running commentary back on the ground of exactly what they were doing.
At times, the aircraft are no more than 6 feet apart – and their level of trust is outstanding, relying on the other pilots to be exactly where they need to be whilst ensuring that they themselves are where they need to be.
And this got me thinking about the skills needed to fly a jet, and how those skills are relevant in running a business.
Firstly, jet planes don’t tend to have rear view mirrors. The pilots need to be very focused on where they are going, particularly as they can travel at up to 550 knots (600 mph). Whilst you might need to know where your fellow pilots are, there is very little need for rear view mirrors, except maybe on the ground to check there is nothing behind you before you start you engine ready for take-off.
In business, owners can often be too focused on what has happened in the past, when really they need to focus on flying forwards at 600mph. Often the reason for this is the lack of clarity around the goals of the business. The clearer the goals, the less the need to check the business rear view mirror.
But what about getting the jet into the air? Typically jets need to be able to get airborne quickly – You don’t have much runway if you are taking off from on board an aircraft carrier! Sometimes the aircraft are assisted using a catapult like system, or they may use a ramp to get them into the air. Whatever the system, the jets have to get up to speed quickly. There is little margin for error. Once in the air, it is easier to relax and fly the plane, but those crucial seconds used at take-off require the highest level of focus.
And landing on an aircraft carrier is no easier – it is one of the most difficult things a navy pilot will ever do! Most aircraft need an arrested recovery system, whereby the jet is stopped using a tail-hook that catches onto a cable system stretched across the runway. You can see this in action in this Youtube clip. Again, intense focus and precision are needed to hook one of the cables, and then, counterintuitively, the pilot needs to put the power on full in case the snag was unsuccessful and they need to take off again immediately.
In business, you cannot saunter your way down the runway, hoping to get your business quickly into the air! You have to be at full thrust, with clarity around your destination and purposeful actions taken to get you up there safely. Once you are ‘in flight’, then you can relax slightly and concentrate on flying your business , until such time as you need to land again for refuelling – then you need to get the focus back and make sure you are taking the appropriate actions to prevent you from messing things up and landing in the sea.
If you’d like to put some jet power behind your business, then maybe you’d like to get in touch.
Why should you contact me…?
Simple – you will be better off with me as your Coach than you are without me.
I will expect and encourage you to achieve more than you think possible, you will love me some days and hate me the next. I will take away your excuses and replace them with achievement; and on the way we’ll have more fun than should be allowed in Business…
So, if you think you’re ready to jet to success- drop me an Email…
If you think you’re not – then it makes no difference what you do…