Driving Towards Success

When learning to drive and doing laps at the local driver's ed track, I was having trouble keeping in between the lines at the blistering speed of 15mph in the 2-ton death machine (also known as the family minivan) I had been given keys to. My father, who sat shotgun chuckling at my white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel, gave me a bit of advice: "If you just watch your side of the car and follow that line, the other side will be just fine."* This little driving tip helped me in attaining the key the teenage freedom, my driver's license, and many years later, as I drive around a city 200+ miles from this event, I have realized it's application toward the industry I choose to work in.

Startups are usually made up of a small team of thinks, doers, and creators that have passion and want to solve real world problems (or at least they should be). In many teams, there is the one person who leads them and drives them toward their future goals. This person might feel the need to make sure everything is running smoothly at all times and keeping the team in the lines on the way to success. Just like my first time behind the wheel, this can cause the driver to overcompensate on either side of lane, add frustration, and, if in real world situations, cause quite the collision. This is where the fatherly advice steps in, with a little tweaking on my part.

While I tried out my dad's suggestion of "watching my line", he would assure/caution me as I progressed. He would watch the line on his side and, when we finally got on the city roads, keep on eye on my blind spots as we traveled about. I would trust him to give me the correct information because I sure as hell couldn't see for myself and it was his life on the line too. For the driver of a startup, the people sitting in various passenger seats of this innovative new company is your team. They are there to assist you by watching your blind spots, maybe your weaker abilities of business deals they can manage or design needs that they can fulfill. Or at the occasional stoplight, things might get crazy with a "Chinese Fire Drill" of company roles and leave a new pilot behind the wheel but you keep going towards your destination. Your team, with trusted communication, will keep you balanced between those lines and on the road to success collision-free. So drive on, and make sure to blast some sweet tunes along the way.

*I'm don't recall if it actually rhymed but it sure sounds nice though.