If you pay attention you can pick up knowledge in the oddest places. I attended an information session last week about focus. The points made just as much sense for people who work in business as it does for small business owners like me.
According to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, “stability and control are much more complex for an airplane which can move freely in three dimensions, than for cars or boats, which only move in two.”
An airplane has three axis’ of movement: yaw (rotation around the vertical axis), pitch (rotation from side to side), and roll (rotation around the front to back axis). It is as if three lines run through an airplane intersecting at right angles at the airplane’s center of gravity. You must pay attention to many details at one time.
I can drive boats and cars but I cannot drive an airplane. It looks pretty complicated. If you mess up one of the three elements the plane goes out of control and becomes unstable. This is serious stuff.
It got me thinking. A career is like an airplane. You have to control many elements:
- Your brand or reputation – the sum of your experience and relationships with others.
- Your network – the relationships you build with people you meet.
- What you know – the quality of your work and the way you seek out information to solve problems.
Every day is an adventure in control and stability. Make a mistake in any one area and you wobble a bit. Lose control of any two and you have big problems.
Wake up every day committed to keep your career stable and under control. Take calculated risks. Reach out to build your network or learn something new.