Ask any successful business owner for their turnover, net profit, cash reserves, investment intentions or any other similar key metrics and without hesitation, they’ll quantify each and every value. These numbers can be presented in many formats, probably most commonly a dashboard presentation similar to that seen in a plane’s cockpit. In other words, clearly defined numbers critical to keep the plane flying or by assimilation maintaining a viable and successful business. With a good grasp of these numbers, you’re more than likely have a long term successful business.
If on the other hand we ask the same business owners to quantify their critical health numbers such as blood pressure, cholesterol, BMI, resting heart rate etc, then there’s a pretty good chance the majority of them wouldn’t have a clue. Therefore, it’s surprising that the value of the most important business asset, the business leadership, is probably unknown or at best uncertain. That’s likened to flying the plane not knowing its height, speed or fuel reserves – this lack of awareness has the potential for the plane to crash-land or perhaps worse. Yet despite the warning signs, there continues to be a general reluctance to quantify the numbers critical to our health.
Most of us are encouraged, especially those of us of a particular age, by our Doctors and similar practitioners to take time to book medical appointments. Everyone is of course too busy to find the time for such things but please note this is not about time but rather about priorities. If you were under pressure at work with no time to spare and someone called to say your house is on fire would you carry on working or suddenly find the time to take action – of course you would recognise the change in priority and react accordingly. In other words health checks should be a priority not time.
So why not review your priorities, make the necessary appointments and populate those critical numbers as part of a personalised health plan (your own dashboard). With a completed dashboard as part of your broader business strategy, understanding the numbers should help create the conditions for both an enduring business and long and happy life.
Let me finish on this quote by the late Steve Jobs "You can hire someone to drive a car for you, make money for you — but you can not rent someone to carry the disease for you. One can find material things, but there is one thing that can not be found when it is lost — life."