If you have ever sailed on the ocean and let the peaceful waves refresh you or the turbulent waters rush you with a sense of adventure, you must have thought about how so many proverbs related to business, management or entrepreneurship come from nature itself. Sayings such as weathering a storm, passing with flying colours, righting the ship and various others have started with perhaps boating and then ended in management. If you ask me what is that one proverb that is my all-time favourite or the one I hold as my mantra for successful entrepreneurship, it most definitely is the one related to Course Correction.
Course Correction is not merely a nautical phenomenon that is only related to boating. Course correction is all about experiencing failure, facing it and taking the decision and the risk of changing your course to a new one for overcoming barriers. Simply put, in business, it’s all about taking the plunge to plot a new course for your business or strategy for achieving entrepreneurial success.
Ability to Course Correct – A Crucial Skill for Entrepreneurs
If you ask me as to what I hold as the most important entrepreneurial skill, it would be this. And course correcting is eventually required in business no matter what. It is up to you whether you learn it and adapt to it or let it drag a screaming and suffocating you later on. Think about it…if you haven’t been course correcting all this while, you probably haven’t taken any risks. And without risks what’s there for an entrepreneur? Risks are part & parcel of everyone’s life in all businesses but for entrepreneurs, risk is life. An entrepreneurial journey is all about risk taking and nothing else, and this is precisely where course correction or its ability becomes so crucial, since nobody gets it right the first time.
Failure – A different Interpretation
The fact that nobody gets it right the first time may not be 100% true. A very tiny and insignificant few might get it right. However that is not the rule and more importantly cannot be replicated. Usually people do not get it right the first time and unlike what we are taught in school, failures might not be always bad. Yes, you heard me right. Failures are not bad. Think about it…if you are failing, doesn’t it imply that you are trying something new, have the courage to explore, aren’t forced into mediocrity in being the part of the usual rat race like the rest of the world and most importantly you have the potential to create your own story…and that too a big one!
Yes, failure is a proof of all this irrespective of what people say and after the first step of understanding failure in its true sense, the second step is all about course correction. It is only by course correction and exploration that one gets to find something new, something that would work. If you are never changing your course, you might manage alright for the time being but can never attain success in the long run.
Effective Course Correction
The first effective course correction technique is to understand the importance of humility. One needs to understand when a mistake happens or when he / she fails, both in business or in life. You might cover up your mistake or fight a battle to prove you were right but does that really help your case in the long run? Answer is no. What you need to inculcate is a humbleness so that you can accept mistakes and failures to yourself as well and others. Only then you can take the step towards course correction to right the previous misstep taken.
Second, realize that course correction is not a choice. It is an absolute necessity since without it your competitors will definitely out-maneuver you. In today’s fast changing, dynamic digital world with cut-throat competition in all spheres it is only the very adaptable and the very flexible who can survive. One needs to be constantly on the toes and change oneself when necessary. You might never know until it’s too late that a competitor somewhere exists changing himself continuously and figuring out solutions to problems that you can’t. Internalizing the essence of course correction in your life blood and strategy is what will help you adapt to such changes and emerge as the winner in the long run.
There exists more than one course
Finally, it can be concluded by saying that the very term course correcting implies that there exists more than one course. If correcting your course is possible, it only goes on to establish that you have various avenues in front of you to reach your desired destination isn’t it? Changing your strategy might not even mean you have made a mistake, it can just become your strategy for all you know. Simply put, one needs to get out of the habit of considering failure as a dead-end. It is essentially is a fork in the road, where you decide whether you will correct your course or not. Your decision here ultimately goes on to define who you are and what your business stands for in the future.