We are all too familiar with the hectic schedule of business travel, especially flying. What if though, after your flight takes off, while you are getting settled anticipating the beverage service, but after you order your soda and peanuts you realize something…..it is the pilot taking your order.
Immediately, two questions might come to mind. Where are we headed? And who’s flying the plane?
It is similar when, as small business owners if we succumb to the temptation of getting sucked into the day-to-day vacuum (”working in your business”). You need to ask yourself a couple of valid questions: What direction is your company heading, and who’s flying the plane?
With that in mind, I would like to discuss a common practice I have noticed with small business and have personally experienced in my own business. The pitfall of “Working In your business and not On your business”. Here are my top 5 things I thought of that will help you keep your focus…..and Fly the plane!
Be Humble and Honest
You must be humble enough to realize you cannot do it all. You can’t fly, navigate and hand out peanuts at the same time. Also, be honest enough to realize you don’t know it all.
You have to install capacity ahead of demand. Or in other words: be prepared to handle the demands of business before it’s too late. Capacity can be established by creating a (T_E_A_M) Together Everyone Accomplishes More
Don’t play catch with your team!
Remember, you can’t do it all. Your team is smarter than you individually. Now that you have thrown assignments (The ball) to the team, don’t come back later asking them to throw it back; only to give it back to them again. After repeating this process with your team over and over, you have succumbed to the temptation to get in the day-to-day. You are guilty of playing catch with your team instead of leading the team.
Plan, Plan, Plan!
A wise person once said “An Idea without a plan is only a dream” There is nothing wrong with dreaming or having a vision for your company, but if you don’t have a plan those dreams will turn into nightmares. This puts your business at risk.
Choose your meetings wisely
Never attend or hold a meeting without an agenda or a time limit. Otherwise a lot of time is wasted that could be better utilized. Additionally, I have found it helpful to review take-aways, assignments and deadlines before ending the meeting to ensure everyone is on the same page and that the meeting was successful.
If you follow these 5 things, you will be in the best position to fly the plane to the destination you have set, or even change course when necessary.