Message: “A pilot who sits on his checklist is flying by the seat of his pants.”
The Power of a Checklist
Years ago (many years ago) I learned how to fly single engine airplanes. It was a great experience and I have enough “war stories” of my own to pass an afternoon with fellow pilots.
There are three lessons however I learned that will serve me forever. I would like to share these lessons with you today.
First: Use all of the runway.
Second: A stiff neck will kill you. (Look around and always be observant of your surroundings. No tunnel vision allowed.)
Third: Use your checklist or else.
In this morning’s paper there was a reminder of how important checklists are and I thought I would pass along this sage advice. The headline read, “Make a checklist – it will keep your business healthy.”
A story from Fast Magazine has a guy asking what words come to mind when one hears the word “checklist.” Basic, routine, and dull were some of the more popular responses. How about life-saving and game-changing?
I’m not going to tell you or show you how to construct a checklist because I think this would be insulting. You know what steps need to be taken to book an itinerary, answer the phone, greet a new client, stay in contact with an old client, clean the air conditioning vents, etc. I’m betting that these mundane chores are being done as we speak…all by the seat of your pants. You are, in most instances, “winging your way” through the week.
After all, you are a professional.
If you are asking me, and you want to stay in business for the next ten years, I strongly recommend that you begin creating these lists and then living by them.
The fact of the matter is that they are so simple and filled with such obvious reminders that there’s a good chance that you dismiss today’s message as being childish. This is too bad. This would prove to be a huge mistake.
In today’s highly competitive environment, a single goof or over sight could cost you, your employees, and your families dearly. Why not do everything in your power to make sure that once you get your airplane off the ground that you get it back to land safely?
Here is an idea: why not build a simple travel-related checklist you can use in your promotional efforts and send it to both clients and prospects alike.
This simple gesture will clearly indicate that you know how to make things work without risk and that you are the safe bet when it comes to managing an important vacation.
Here is an example to help stimulate your thinking. http://www.checklists.com/travel.html
I’ll say it again: A pilot who sits on his checklist is flying by the seat of his pants. Think about it before making this week one to be proud of.