Maybe you are thinking I am going to write about a team building exercise or an event put on by you or a group of your employees as a way to blow off some steam and enjoy time with each other.
While that may be fun, the “Company Float Trip” is purely a metaphor for the purposes of this post. You see, you can look at your Company as a boat, tasked with navigating a swift current in an ever changing market called the River and you are the Captain of your boat. You start your business by selecting a boat, most appropriate for the type of journey you are going to embark on. You have never navigating the river before, but you set a course by making plans to handle situations like turns, dips, rapids, and the occasional shallow areas where you feel like your boat is hitting the rock bottom. You enjoy the calm spans in the river where you can lie back, take a break and rest, knowing for a brief period while you rest that your boat is likely to stay on course, but inevitably we know the Captain will need to take charge again, because the market (river) never sleeps or rests. Rivers come in all different versions, many varied lengths, and a variety of difficulty levels. You see, you have the ultimate control as to what river you set sail in but you need to make sure you have the correct type of boat to survive the river you select. Likewise, when it is time to pause and “anchor” somewhere in the course of the river to gather your thoughts and make corrections on your mapped course (teach staff, hire or fire staff, set policies, etc.) I must offer you caution.
Policies, discipline, coaching, teaching, motivating, and standards are all forms of anchors for your business. These anchors allow you to have a solid handle on the speed, direction, and depth of your business, which is ultimately the success or failure of your trip. However, too many times we are tying our ropes to hollow efforts because we do not get the correct management training ourselves to put some real weight and thought into our directives and leadership actions (anchors). It’s like tying a rope to an inflatable ball, tossing it into the river and expecting it to hold our business on course. You “float” it out there and eventually it has negative effects. For a while you see the ball, but after a short period of time, it has disappeared and is forgotten until it reaches the end of the rope which is tied to your boat. What it does then is drag us in directions we don’t want to go, allowing the river to dictate our direction instead of us Captains.
Poor management puts the market and other forces like staff, uncertainty, fear, and lack of confidence in leadership in control and YOU out of control. Sound familiar, Captain? Take control of your boat. Seek training. Acquire more skills. Be wiser. Gain confidence. Captain your boat.
Here’s the best part. The river you are in has been navigated successfully before. All you have to do is engage previous explorers that can show you how to get your boat further downstream to those places and times you will enjoy. I can help you. Reach out to me by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to working with you on your journey! I also encourage you to share this with your friends in the industry, tell them to follow my blog, and feel free to leave a reply below.