Sail or Drift?

As discussed in our recent post, all successful businesses have a plan that will guide them to their destination.  The leaders of these businesses have defined their destination, set the course, have an accurate chart to help them navigate, and control the business to achieve their goals.

As a  sailor, I believe that the most important skills for success are the ability to chart a course, navigate that course accurately, identify and adjust to weather conditions, and to control the vessel in all conditions in order to reach port safely.  The most successful sailors have a clear destination and course, an accurate chart, and can adapt to changing conditions, as they occur.

Successfully navigating a business requires these same attributes.  If we look at this from a business standpoint, you must do the following:

  • Define your destination (Port)
  • Have an accurate chart (Plan)
  • Plot a course to reach the destination (Objectives)
  • Adjust that course, as necessary, based on conditions encountered along the way
  • Control the business in these different conditions

Every business a choice to make.  We can decide to take these actions and guide the business to our destination and future success. Or, we can also choose not to take action, and drift through the year, letting conditions have their way, and take the chance of not reaching port.

While we may have little control over many conditions that will affect our business in today’s economy, we do have control of our course and business, if we know where we are going.  So we must identify changes in those conditions, and make the necessary adjustments, throughout the year, to reach our destination.

This is why we need to have a reporting system that will provide regular feedback on conditions and progress to help us decide what adjustments are required to maintain control, and keep the business moving forward.

So, identify your destination, get an accurate chart, plot your course, adjust to conditions, and take control of your business to keep it on course and moving forward.

Let me finish with several quotes to put these comments into perspective.

“To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

“The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator.” – Edmund Gibbon

It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage.” – George William Curtis

Questions or comments?  Call us at (727) 637-4666, or reply through our blog.

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