Normally when I’m on a plane I get out my work and try to make the most out of my time away from distractions. This week, however, I sat next to a guy named Adam “SCRAM” Gobbo and we started to talk. If you’re wondering about the “SCRAM” in his name, it isn’t a given middle name, it’s a call sign that he earned after being a pilot in the United States Air Force, flying F16’s and protecting his country. (Thanks again for your service Adam!)
Aside from the cool factor of being a jet fighter pilot, Adam is a really smart business strategist and it’s clear that his time in the Air Force has given him some great perspective. I asked Adam what he most enjoyed about flying a plane like the F16 and part of his answer had to do with the simple fact that you get to go really fast. (Keep in mind the F16 is a supersonic jet that can hit a top speed of 1,500 mph.) He said it’s incredibly exciting, but making a mistake at that speed can cost you dearly.
It really made me think about some things that have happened to me in business. I get so focused on the target that when I get bumped off course sometimes I don’t even realize it. Before you know it, you’re putting out fires and dealing with crap that slightly deters you from the original plan, but it’s enough to cause you to fail. It might be that you end up getting bogged down just managing the day to day business. Maybe it’s a person or a company culture that prevents you from staying on the path. If you’re not totally committed to being LOCKED IN on your target you will find yourself flying over a foreign country that you’re not supposed to be in. What does being totally committed look like anyway? Just identify where you’re spending your time and that will tell you everything you need to know. Keep a notepad on top of your desk and literally log what you’re doing 2-3 times a day, and see how much of it’s dedicated to those projects that will get you the big result you’re after. Life happens fast and because of that, it doesn’t take long to fail if you’re off course even a few degrees. What path are you on? Is it taking you to a place that’s going to make a difference in your life? For your business?
Thanks, Adam for letting me pick your brain and for a great plane ride to Dallas. I’m glad I didn’t bury my head in my computer on this trip because my new friend really got me to thinking about a few things; hopefully, I added some value back to him as well. Actually, I am pretty sure I did because he sent me a note a few hours after we landed telling me that he subscribed to Q’s Views so he can get up to speed on the mattress industry. It’s exactly like his current job of selling $7 million dollar spy camera’s that are mounted on warships right? 🙂