If you’re a business owner, you’ve undoubtedly had an experience similar to the bipolar experience of a “Top Gun” pilot landing on an aircraft carrier.
How so? A naval pilot has to commit 100% to two contradictory courses of action.
On the one hand, he’s fully committed to landing his plane on the carrier. Under normal conditions, there are many factors to consider: sea conditions, air conditions, aircraft carrier and plane/pilot conditions. Each of these factors makes the challenge of landing a non-routine activity.
His tailhook needs to catch one of four arresting wires. That arresting wire system can stop a 54,000-pound aircraft traveling 150 miles per hour in only two seconds. A skilled naval aviator is expected to consistently grab the third one.
At the same time, that pilot must simultaneously be fully committed to taking off from the carrier. If the tailhook of his plane fails to catch one of the arresting wires, he must continue under full power so that he can take off and live to make another attempt to land. If he doesn’t come in under full power and misses the arresting wires he risks plunging himself and his $100m aircraft into the ocean.
Similarly, business owners face the constant challenge of matching sales and delivery capacity.
Businesses must be 100% committed to their sales and marketing plans. If they quaver, they risk missing the plan and will fail to meet cash flow needs.
Businesses must also be 100% committed to their delivery plans. They might have too many people and sacrifice margin or too few people but overwork them and compromise meeting client deadlines.
The biggest challenge facing business owners?
Maintaining the mental and operational flexibility to shift gears from sales to delivery–and back again, over and over again.
Business owners must be equally committed to both future and current clients. Even if their firm is “at capacity” they need to continue sales and marketing efforts. If they neglect either, they risk plunging their firm into the ocean.
- Are you 100% committed to your sales and marketing plan? How do you know? Hint: it has to be measurable!
- Are you 100% committed to your product/people plan? How do you know? Hint: this too, should be measurable.
- Are you currently suffering from ADHD or are you equally committed on your approach?