Air traffic control

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Search the beyond, explore, count your thoughts, and challenge your sight.  Let us not just try to get a share in the pie, can the pie be expanded?

I got an opportunity to visit an Air Traffic Control tower.  The maze of machines, the radars, the variety of screens, looked like a spaceship.  Air Traffic Control [ATC] is a room where the engineers control the traffic of airplanes.  The operations are similar to that of a traffic police, but with a lot more complexities and even a slightest mistake could endanger hundreds of lives.  Just visualise a person holding a red and green flag, waving at flights coming in and going out indicating accordingly.

The job of an air traffic controller is hectic when the flights land or take off.  A team of professionals monitor every inch with dexterity and it appeared as if the divine giants kissed the ground or pumped the clouds.  The control appeared to be mostly near the airports and once the flights were airborne they were on an auto pilot mode.  The arrival of the flight in the screen started the activity and its exit stopped the activity.

This is how we function many a time.  When there is a problem on our radar screen activity starts, and the moment the problem is off the screen, it is off our minds too.  Similarly when we see an opportunity on our screen our focus is enhanced.  The mind is occupied with the situation as long as it is in its span, and the moment the object moves outside we become ATC engineers.

Let us go back to our day and see the situations where we have been ATC, controlling only the circle of visibility and being oblivion of what is happening outside the visibility.

Check your mailbox.  It is like an ATC.  A mail pops in, and a reply pops out.  Many of us attend only to the unread mails or the flagged one.  A mail lands on your desktop; it is similar to a flight landing.

The mail is replied, either by a forward or a sentence or with a buck stops here attitude.  After the loop is closed, the mail is out of the radar, we do not see beyond that event.  Today’s communication has made us reactive beings rather than pro-active beings.

I had a bout of cold, a splitting headache.  I ingest a few pills of different colours; a couple of days rest and the bout is out of my mind.  I handled the cold when it appeared and forgot about it as it left me.  It was an attack on the problem and not a probe on the cause.  Focus on the cause would have given light on building an immune system.  The medical test revealed high cholesterol, or fatty lever.  The medical test is the radar screen.  An exercise regiment, a diet, balanced life and the whole works, follows it.  The focus was alive as long the threat loomed, and fazed out over the weeks.  Fitness would have been part of life if the radar of health had expanded.

It is a common sight for a top executive to blow up at his staff when a document is missing.  The moment it is traced; the attention is on the document.  The reason that the document missed is not a matter of concern.  If the reason was in the radar, a document management system might have emerged.

Many a time people lead lives as an ATC.  If a situation is in the radar it gets attention and after that, there is no situation.  These are instances of knee-jerk reactions.

Focus on your day.  Can you recollect and list out the areas, which require attention, but it is not being done.  Have you defined what your radar is?  The challenge appears and action follow.  Have you focussed on the radar, and more importantly the size of the radar?  The radar needs to see much ahead and on a wider perspective.  Is it restricted to a few days, a problem, a short-term overdraft facility with the bank, a pill, your email, a couple of hours of more work or, are we focusing on an area outside the area of attention.

Expanding the area of the radar would give a wider thought process to the situations of life.  It need not be a challenge always; it could be an opportunity also.  The opportunity would be missed, the future would not be seen, if your radar had not spotted the loop.  Many would miss the opportunity to invest in the outskirts of your city and just in a few years the outskirts have become a part of the city.  A market potential, a new product range, a target audience all could be outside your radar.  There can be customers in Pacific region for the pickles manufactured down South India.  If the radar is restricted to the neighbourhood, the pickles would’ve never crossed the port.

The radar and its size need to grow.  In your business – the growth, in your education – the career, in your technology – the utility, in your network – the geography, in your thought process – the radar, it needs to grow relentlessly.  A boundary is there only to be erased, the faster you erase the faster you grow.  It would be a dream if there were no boundary line at all.  Boundary line of radar creates a confinement.

Do a simple mortal experiment.  Think business strategies in a small cubicle as opposed to looking at the sea, the results would be different.  When you look into bounties your thoughts also fly.  When you look at a wall, sometimes the wall can become a block too.

Expand your ATC, expand your vision, let there be an urge to go out of the circle and peep in.  The end of the circle is not visible; yet go to the end, and you could see a small light.  Follow the light, it would lead to another circle, the circle might be so big that our playground seems so small.

Many entrepreneurs would sigh with relief the moment the monthly fixed costs commitments are done, and find themselves in the cash tight spot every month.  A temporary credit is like a reply to the problem of landing; a credit policy is expanding the radar.  Hiring a new accountant when the earlier one quits is a ATC reaction; think about outsourcing, think about long-term backup, what about automation, change in accounting policies, all these would mean that the thought has gone beyond the area of visibility.

Let us expand our vision; let us not just reply to an email.  Search the beyond, explore, count your thoughts, and challenge your sight.  Let us not just try to get a share in the pie, can the pie be expanded?  Get to see beyond the airport, beyond the landing and takeoff.  There is a sky above.

Search the sky; you would not be a problem solver or a solution provider.  You would find new paths, new business opportunities.  Great products, inventions, markets would never have been seen, but for some ATC engineers viewing beyond the airport.  The sky is not the limit, wishing you Most and more.

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