Which Gauges Are You Using to Lead Your Business?
My Buddy Ross is an amateur pilot. We worked together on some software projects, and he always invested his extra income into flight lessons.
It was years ago, but he told me this one story that I've never forgotten.
He told me how new pilots would take their planes up in the clouds. As they come down through the clouds, the turbulence makes them question their gauges.
See there's this gauge called a "gyroscopic pitch-bank" or "artificial horizon" that tells the pilot when he's flying straight or tilted to the left or right.
Most amateur prop plains aren't pressurized. So turbulence makes them shake and messes with a pilot's sense of balance.
This is why the gauges exist. Gauges in a plain give the pilot information he can't easily know on his own. But because it "feels" off, they adjust and adjust and adjust.
Ross tells me that the number of pilots who come down out of the clouds upside down is staggering. For many of them, their brain gets blasted with adrenaline and they even themselves out. Ego bruised, but they love to fly another day.
Some though, their too disoriented by this realization. They can't course correct and they crash.
I was reminded of this today as I was working with a client. As part of our program with them, we built a statistical dashboard to track the important data needed for them to run their business. Both the trailing indicators (like revenue) and the leading indicators (like activities that lead to revenue.)
But when business gets busy and stressful, they stop looking at their numbers choosing to go with their gut to the exclusion of tracked data.
Sometimes it's fear, sometimes anxiety, other times greed that causes them to make little adjustments while ignoring the data of their business.
Until...they have completely turned upside down. My client today was completely turned upside down.
They'll recover with a lesson learned, but it can also be a lesson for all of us who get to watch.
Track your numbers. Trust your numbers. Make intentional decisions with your gut AND your numbers.