I had just wrapped up a visit to Corpus Christi, Texas; visiting with managers about their goals and hammering out strategic plans for the quarter. It had been a busy week, and now I was waiting in the airport for my flight home to board. I felt good about the work we had done and excited about the possibilities. And I relished the thought of getting back to my family and enjoying the weekend.
I overheard someone speaking to the gate agent about securing a seat. They were scheduled on a later flight, but wanted to see if they could get home earlier. “Sorry,” they were told. “This is going to be a full flight. Every seat has been sold.”
I thought about that. Something like 140 people had chosen not just the same destination, but the same flight. We all wanted to move in the same direction at the same time. Whatever our reasons for traveling on this particular day, in this particular way, we all had the same goal. And if all went according to plan, we’d get there together.
Then it struck me … the plane couldn’t take off until everyone was in their seat.
I was anxious to get moving, and I know my traveling companions were as well. But none of us could fly until everyone else found their place. The passengers, the pilots, even the flight attendants all have to be in their assigned spots with their seat belts fastened before anyone can fly.
Oh, we might pull away from the gate. We might taxi away from the terminal and line up on the runway; but the plane simply cannot leave the ground until everyone takes their seat.
Your team is like an airplane. It’s designed to fly – to soar high and travel far. But in order for that to happen, everyone has to assume their proper place. Each individual has to embrace their role. If even one person isn’t ready – on board and doing their part – they plane won’t be able to take off like it should. At best, the journey will be delayed, forcing everyone else to work harder and wait longer for a successful flight.
As we prepare to enter the 4th quarter of 2017, I don’t know what challenges stand in the way of your success. But I bet you do. Your team has goals to accomplish – you have a shared destination. And you no doubt know what it will take to win. You know what you need to do in order to be successful.
Have you taken your seat?
Are you prepared to do your part so that the team achieves its goal? Are you ready to embrace your particular role to make this final leg of the journey a successful one? Remember, you signed up for this. You purchased a ticket for this specific flight.
Take your seat. Strap yourself in. Let’s get this baby in the air and fly!