Work Hard on What Is in Your Control

Yesterday I flew United. I made the mistake of checking a bag. After waiting 10 minutes to exit the plane due to the lack of a gate agent, I waited another 55 minutes for my bag. No one said a word about either issue. Instead, a few hundred people waited, many impatiently, anxious to leave the airport.

It cannot be easy to run an airline. There are too many things outside of your control. Mechanicals are going to happen, and you are always going to put safety first. From time to time, and more often than you would like, weather is going to make a mess of your business.

In a business where so much is outside of your control, it makes sense to do the very best you can when it comes to what is within your control.

Communication: When things go wrong, communication is something you can control. You can communicate what is going on, what is being done, and when your clients can expect an improvement. When this isn’t done, it feels like a lack of concern.

Hustle: In a lot of businesses, there is going to be a delay in providing a promised result or outcome. This may be the reality of the business. What you can do is hustle to produce the result as soon as possible. Hustle is within your control.

Caring: Both communication and hustle look and feel like caring. So does apologizing. In a business where things often go wrong, you can grow accustomed to those challenges. Because you are comfortable with these challenges doesn’t mean your clients, nor does it mean that you don’t have to do anything to try to improve it for your clients.

The reality of some business is that much of what you wish you could control is beyond your reach. When this is true, the difference between you and your competitors is your willingness to work hard on what is in your control.

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