Deadlines are important. They set expectations and instill just enough fear so that you might actually get something done.
Ubiquitous as they may be, deadlines can also impede progress and beget even more work by inducing stress, which can ultimately cause costly errors.
Learning the ancient art of course correction can help you meet deadlines without all the stress. To help illustrate my point about course correction I would like you to picture a swarmy ship captain.
Captain Jack Sparrow will do nicely.
Now, picture Jack pacing a weathered boat dock fretting about the wind and fussing over a map. He’s stalling. His failure to launch is a result of over analyzing the details, most of which he will have little or no control over anyway.
Does he know how to sail a boat? Heck yeah he does!
Granted, this really isn’t Jack’s style is it? He’s actually a master at course correction. Here are 5 signs you might be hesitating to launch.
- You keep seeking approval.
- You’ve checked everything 4 or more times.
- Your to-do list keeps growing. Tackle that to-do list »
- People keep asking you where you are on a project.
- You’re losing confidence and doubt your decisions.
You would think a seasoned captain could rely on skill and experience to ward off procrastination and fear. Yet, I’ve seen many “captains” struggle with the details before setting sail; to the point where nothing ever gets done.
Young, old, experienced or novice, in the business world you will most assuredly be left behind if you fail or even hesitate to launch.
“The only thing that is constant is change.” – Heraclitus
Course correction is managing change on the fly. It’s being prepared enough to get the job started. Starting is the hard part. Waking up at 5AM and getting into a cold, stubborn car before driving to the gym is what’s keeping you from your routine. Exercising is not really the problem. Am I right?
Course correction has a hidden perk. It can lead to failure.
Failure is not the enemy here. When you face the unknown and launch before you’re ready, you learn a valuable lesson; to fail is to succeed. Failure means you gave it a shot. It also means you have learned something new. Failure is a stepping stone to success, as long as you learn from your mistakes.
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy
Learn to correct your mistakes on the fly. This is a mission critical business skill because you can never accurately plan for the future. Basecamp founder Jason Fried said “planning is guessing”. I couldn’t agree more.
Course correction is a fundamental business strategy every decision maker needs to learn. I would love to hear how you overcome adversity in your business. Can you share a failure that lead to success? Does course correction work for you?