One morning last week, I was invited to join a friend for a paddling trip out on the water. Rather than take my kayak, I decided that I would try my hand on his extra stand-up paddleboard. (Paddleboarding is very popular in and around the area in which we live, and so I felt like it was only a matter of time until I gave it an honest try.)
The stand-up paddleboard requires a much different approach than most other board related activities. Skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding all require similar postures, foot positioning and balance techniques. On a stand-up paddleboard, however, the feet are spread across the board, and the individual stands facing forward. The stance also requires a different balance technique, as the emphasis is not placed on heel-to-toe control.
It was the first time I actually thought about how to maintain stability in motion. The other board sports that I've participated in for years came natural; this was something new, and it required a lot of focus to adjust and remain upright. The consequences of losing focus and balance would result in falling into shallow winter waters over jagged oyster beds.
Maintaining stability in motion takes practice, in your daily activities as well as in business. The external factors that can derail our focus are as present on the water as they are in the office. Whereas on the water, winds, wakes and tides can work against the casual sportsman, making it difficult to remain atop the board, it is just as easy to become distracted at work, too. Depending on where you might sit in the organizational structure, distractions can come from a variety of sources: emails, meetings, pet projects, and other random requests and activities that don't actually move the business any closer to its goals (but somehow keep you "busy").
Because of such factors, the art of maintaining balance in business requires that each member of the team consider the view of the business through a customer lens, an ownership lens, and an employee lens. It is the overlap between the three that create the balance every business needs to continue on its path towards success.
Stability requires balance and focus. Cut down the communication channels, create a list of the most critical items that need to be completed, and move forward. All other requests will simply rock your paddleboard.