Do you feel like your team isn’t working the way you want them to? It could be that you aren’t looking at your team the way you should be. You see, you and your employees are not the same vehicles. Employees are like trains, and business owners are like boats.

In this video, I’ll explain this analogy and how it can help you think more carefully about how you manage yourself and your team:

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

What I want to cover today with you is the difference between an employee and a business owner. And the analogy that comes to my mind is that employees are like trains and business owners are like boats. Let me explain what I mean by that.

Your Team Are Trains

If you think about it, a train is a very powerful engine, right, it’s a solid mode of transportation. Now if you want this train to reach its destination, we need a few things in place.

  • First – we need to know what is the destination.
  • Second – we need to have a set of very clear tracks for it to reach from point A to point B.
  • Third – we need to make sure it’s the right driver who’s on the train.
  • Fourth – we need to have the right kind of junctions and the right space to make sure that there’s refueling of the train happening – that the driver is getting proper rest and is focused on the track.

It doesn’t take too long for this train to get derailed. Lack of track, lack of fuel, like of direction, lack of junction – can cause massive derailment or stalling of this engine. So that’s straight. Now if you think about employees in the business world, the questions that should be coming into your mind are:

  • What level of clarity have you given to your team as to what is the destination? How clearly are the tracks laid out for them in terms of systems and structures that they need to follow to reach from point A to point B?
  • How much training is given to the driver so that we make sure that he is capable or she is capable of taking this straightforward at the right speed to the right place?
  • What kind of junctions and what that really means, what kind of reviews, what kind of mid-reviews do you have in your business with your tea? Where you sit down, you guide them, you motivate them, you make them unstuck, you refuel them basically and get them focused on where they need to go.

These are the questions you need to seriously ask to get your team more effective, to make this machine, this engine work with the right efficiency level – that’s how I see it.

But YOU are a Boat

Now let’s talk about the boats – business owners are boats. If you think about the boat and its tracks, the whole sea, the whole ocean is its tracks. There is no set path, right? We don’t know what track this boat is on and therefore the boat does not really have a direction until or unless you as a business owner give this boat a direction, right?

Now if you want this boat to move from point A to point B in this vast ocean with winds and with waves and all kinds of climates and external factors, the first thing again is that you as a business owner need to be very clear as to what’s the destination. Where do you want to take this boat to? Otherwise, it can just bob up and down in the sea, and you can enjoy it for some time but after a point, it will get very boring. It’s just there for a long, long time and you don’t want to be there for a very long, long, long time. You want to move forward.

And the second thing is that for the boat to move forward, what we need to do – we need to harness the external factors – the opportunities that we have, for which we need to get our sales up. And sales in a business sense is your goals, your dreams, what is that that you are trying to achieve – the bigger the sales, the better it is, the more opportunities we can harness. The third thing is, sometimes I’ve noticed that lots of boards get stuck at one place. They’re just up and down and to and fro – because of the anchors that they have.

These anchors are the past experiences – you have some failures or some experiences or baggage that sometimes business owners have which actually hold them back. So very consciously you as a business owner need to let go of most of the anchors which are holding you back and have just a few anchors. Because yes, you will need some rest, some pauses and some relaxation and that’s good but let go of the anchors because that’s what will make you move forward with the right kind of sales.

At the end of the day, it’s about being in the sea, being in the unknown world, enjoying that adventure but also moving forward with harnessing the winds and the waves and letting go the anchors.

So Ask Yourself a Question

So ask yourself a question – how much are you enjoying your business at this point? What do you need to stop doing? What do you need to start doing, as far as your trains are concerned and you as boats are concerned? 

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