You can’t succeed in a business that operates in cruise control.
Cruise control in motorcars is designed to make driving safer and more economical. However, when cruise control sensors on the front of a car slow us down on a highway, we may not notice our speed has dropped enough to cause us to be late to our destination.
On the other hand, most commercial flights that leave on time arrive on time. The reason being that most of the time, the aircraft is on autopilot and corrections are continually made so the plane stays on course. It is usually only air-traffic control or weather that cause delays.
At work, we need to set the pace required and stick to it. We can’t select cruise control to do this for us. We need to take control and continuously monitor our speed and effectiveness, and the speed and effectiveness of our people.
When it comes to productivity, we are influenced by two things: our natural behavioural style in terms of pace, and the pace of the people around us. Like an aircraft, we must know our destination (e.g. a business goal) and the time we need to arrive so we can set the correct speed. But, unlike an aircraft, we are in control of our business – not some outside force.
James Clear, in his book Atomic Habits, advises us to get into a room (in other words, join or create a culture) where our desired behaviour is the normal behaviour. Motivational speaker, the late Jim Rohn, also said that we are the average of the five people nearest to us. This is based on the Law of Averages, which is the theory that the result of any given situation is the average of all outcomes.
If the people in our room slow us down, we need to change the people in it or go to a different room. We can’t just sit back in cruise control and hope things will work out. We need to take control of our businesses and our lives. Otherwise, we may never arrive at our destination.
If you’re struggling to find the right pace for your business, email me at email@example.com.