Flight of Faith

As I sit in the plane waiting for a slot to take off from Istanbul airport, the thought suddenly strikes me – this is a leap of faith. Three hundred plus people have put their faith and their lives in a complete stranger they haven’t met; the pilot. They trust his training, his professionalism and his flight plan. They also trust the engineering of the plane. (In our case, it’s a rather small, old one). Do they even think about this or would that be too scary? Perhaps it is complacency, safety statistics or more pressing thoughts. Do we do it because we must?

Similarly, your employees commit themselves each day to a leap of faith that you, their employer, have a clear ‘flight plan’ or strategy, you know the direction you are taking the business in, and that you have the skills, expertise, equipment and processes to take them there.

During the flight, in turbulent times, the pilot’s calm, reassuring voice persuades us that all will be well; we can get through this. Regular updates during the flight confirm we are on track for our destination and we will be successful.

When we land effortlessly at Heathrow, sadly passengers no longer applaud the pilot on touch down, as they did a few years ago. There is no longer recognition of a job well done.

As the leader (pilot) of your company have you everything in place for a smooth flight or have your employees constantly got their seat belts tightened, gripping their seat rests for a bumpy ride? How many have their parachutes on ready to bail out?

Your employees have boarded your ‘plane’ with a leap of faith in you. The ticket is paid for by their labour, knowledge and career prospects. Do they not deserve the smoothest journey of their career? What more can you do to help them enjoy the flight?

  • Have you got all the right passengers on board?
  • Have you completed all the safety checks and contingency planning?
  • How frequently do you communicate with them about direction and destination?
  • How often do you update your skills to meet changing circumstances and technology?
  • How frequently are you on automatic pilot?
  • How do you celebrate success?

Happy landings!

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