Looking at a map, traveling from San Francisco to Hawaii via ship seems pretty simple. It’s a straight shot right? Wrong. Actually, due to the curvature of the earth there are a few turns that need to occur and if you miss one turn, even by 1 degree you could end up hundreds of miles off course. I discovered that myself on my first trip across the Pacific.
In the journey to Hawaii, there are 3 major waypoints. If you miss one, you’ll miss the next one and trouble will compound itself without notice. Fortunately, I was under the mentorship of a very wise navigator who pulled me aside, pointed out my error and helped me get back on track. It was a simple course correction because we caught it early. Had he not noticed and left me to fail, we probably would’ve hit China before we caught the error.
Do you have someone checking your work? An extra set of eyes can help you see something that may cause problems later. Keep your chart open for your team to help you navigate. Take a second to talk with someone you trust and ask them, “How am I doing? How are WE doing? Are we on track? See anything potential traps up ahead?” Trust me, in 90 days, you’ll be thankful.
Along with the waypoints there are a few hidden elements that affect the ship’s course. Throughout the ocean there are strong under currents that you can’t see. As much as 5 knots of current can be working on the hull of the ship (Let’s put that in perspective one knot of current is equal to 30 knots of wind.) pushing it off course. If you don’t pay attention to it you will find yourself headed in the wrong direction and most likely having a very uncomfortable conversation with the Captain of the ship.
Also, when you’re transiting the open ocean it’s very easy to get lost and lulled into complacency; especially when it’s warm, sunny and calm. You still have to pay attention because small under currents can affect your position and push you off course a degree or two. How about your branch, sense any under currents that might push you off course in month or two? You might want to plot your position on the chart and see if you’re on course. Take some time today to look at where you’ve been and where you’re going.
As you look back at the end of the first quarter of 2013 how are you doing with your navigation to 2014? Are you on course? Ahead of schedule? Behind schedule? What’s working? What’s not working? What’s up ahead? Any particular areas of concern? Schools going to be out soon, what’s the plan there? Have you talked to your dealers about their summer?
At this point of the year, if you are still trying to figure out what happened and not sure what’s coming you might want to take some time to regroup and focus your compass North again. Take some time to consult with those that are on course, or who have gone down this road before and ask them to take a look at your plot and see if you’re missing anything. Remember, AVAD is a team sport and you’re only as good as your team. A wise person once told me, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” Look for the top performers on your team and learn from them. Don’t be afraid to have someone look at your chart and help you get on course.
Senior Sales Trainer
“Life Is A Team Sport!”