Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Apply the Success of the Blue Angels to Your Life

As a pilot, before every flight, we "Brief". Sometimes those briefs were "brief", but more often than not they were anything but. However, whether they were quick or drawn-out, we prided ourselves in our professionalism and our ability to prepare ourselves for the flight.

Our briefs would prepare us for the flight. They covered everything we expected to do from take-off to landing. They also covered everything that we didn't expect to do - like emergencies and contingencies. I won't lie to you, some were better than others at briefing and preparing - and the truth be told, it almost always was reflected in their airborne success.

But nNo pilots, that I've ever met, Brief better and more thoroughly than the Blue Angels. If you think their flying is amazing, then you should witness one of their briefs. For about 45 minutes, the entire team flies the show in their mind - in unison, to the calls of the "Boss" (Blue Angel #1). Their hands move together - as if they were almost tied together with invisible pieces of string. Each team member responding as if they were actually in the air - flying their machines at 500 mph, just 36 inches from each through full acrobatics. Truly a lesson we can all learn from.

The lesson that is truly empowering to everyone that applies briefing to their repertoiret is mental preparation. In fact, this form of preparation before an event does two beneficial things for any who use it:

1. Briefing grounds us in the proper attitude - getting us focused on the job at hand and helping us clear our mind of distractions.
2. Briefing forces us to think through each event - before we live it - actively engaging the subconscious mind in our goals before we call upon it to assist us in our endeavor.

I've heard many people say that things are created twice - first in the mind, and then in reality. What briefing does is make the first part, the mental preparation, a planned event that you can count on.

So how can you apply this to your business - to your life?

It's simple really - every time you get ready to do something, brief yourself and your team first. You see this in many instances in successful businesses, but not often enough. Great restaurants get all of the Wait Staff together before a big mean and make sure everyone knows what's going on and who is responsible for what. Good Surgeons brief their operating staff what is going to happen, how it is going to go, and who is responsible for what, if something happens out of the ordinary. And in sports, coaches at all levels try to get their players to visualize a play before it happens, so that their mind is prepared for it and it becomes second nature.

Implementing this concept into your business or life isn't hard - but it does take time, creativity, and fore thought. Start simple and start big. Not that I want you to brief a monstrous undertaking - making the project even bigger than it already is. No, actually, I would like you to start by Briefing yourself every morning on what your day is going to be. Don't get down into details, just run through your day in your mind - what you want to happen, what possible emergencies could come up and what you could either do to avoid them or handle them. Think about where you are going to be, when you are going to be there, and who your are going to meet. Also think about thinks like when you are going to eat, sleep, and take care of other necessities of life - make them it all a conscious plan.

Do this every day for a week and see for yourself, how much more effective you will become. I think you will surprise yourself. You will get more done and be more effective in your life and your business than you've ever been in the past.

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