“It’s not the systems that you know about that are the problem – it’s the systems you are not aware of that cause you to crash” – Robert Kiyosaki (The Cashflow Quadrant)

Nobody has a fear of flying. What they fear is crashing. Pilots will have the same fear deep down – they don’t want to crash any more than their passengers do!

Pilot checklists…

However, pilots also have essential tools available to help reduce their understandable fears. To massively reduce the risk of their aircraft crashing, pilots have stringent checklists in place which they tick off before and during every flight. Completing these checklists enables them to confidently take off and climb, then descend and land the aircraft safely.

And comprehensive systems enable pilots to cruise at altitude, whilst still staying alert for turbulence and potential risks outside.

Using pre-flight checklists doesn’t mean pilots are unqualified to look through the windshield and deal effectively with whatever dangers may be outside. Quite the opposite. Whilst the aircraft cruises on autopilot, using checklists gives their brains the space and freedom to focus on what necessary emergency actions to take should dangers appear on the horizon – before they impact on the aircraft!

Fly the plane…

In The Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande shares the details of a checklist for engine failure during flight for a single-engine, solo pilot aeroplane. He describes how the checklist is slimmed down to six key steps not to skip when restarting the engine. Steps such as ensuring the fuel shutoff valve is ‘Open’ and switching the backup fuel pump ‘On’.

However, what struck Gawande most is the first step on the checklist: “Fly the airplane.” He recognised how pilots might become so desperate to restart the engine, so overwhelmed with thoughts of “Why has this happened?”, that they forget, at that moment, the most basic part of survival. Just fly the plane.

See your business soar…

The same fear occurs in business. As a business owner, you may not be so much afraid of ‘flying’ your business, but of crashing it.

The biggest business ‘crash’ is always down to a lack of cash. Or more specifically, a lack of cash flow. This is what business owners fear – not having enough cash in their accounts so they can keep their business flying. So it’s vitally important to have robust systems in place to help you improve your profitability and your cash flow. Use checklists to help you with:

  • Effective sales and marketing systems
  • Operational systems to ensure your employees are functioning to their best abilities
  • Business systems to increase efficiency and productivity
  • Customer service systems to speed up delivery to your customers and reduce customer returns
  • Good business systems to increase your turnover, revenue, profitability, and cash flow

Pilots have systems and checklists in place so they can be alert for turbulence and danger while their aircraft flies itself. In the same way, good systems and checklists in your business will help you to cruise through the day-to-day routines, leaving you with the brain space to focus on “flying the aeroplane” – your business.

[Recommended further reading: The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande]
[Image by Military_Material from Pixabay]