Would you get into a small plan with someone and go for a flight? 

Would it matter who the pilot is? 

My husband and I did our second fly and stay.  As we were getting ready to leave, my husband started his plane walk around and inspection.  He does this EVERY time.  He checks the fule, the lights, the engine, and more.  If I am with him, I will assist by removing covers and help with tests.  However, I tell him when I have completed the tasks to check them off his list.  He does not assume I did them unless I tell him.  

As my husband did his walk around, one of the people there to see us off commented on his safety process.  This individual commented that he was not a jump-in and fly guy.  I felt it was implied that jumping in and flying was “cooler” than the plane walk-around and inspection process.  My response to this comment was: “if he wants his wife to fly with him, then he completes all the safety protocols.” 

Building trust is a process. Trust results from consistent and predictable interaction over time.

Barbara M. White

Once we are in the plane, I call out each item on the checklists as my husband confirms each is good.  We do this as it allows me to be a part of the process, it helps him focus, and I get to see that everything is working and safe. 

After we were cruising and we completed all the checks, I thought about the comment on the airfield.  I thought about it related to my comfort in the plane, and I thought about it as it relates to business.  

If you know my story, you know I was nervous about flying.  The first time I went up, I went up with a very experienced flying instructor.  He took me up on an introductory flight and walked me through all the safety processes; he showed me the instruments that they pay attention to and the warning signs.  He told me about the practice drills they learn to ensure a pilot can handle an emergency. 

This intro flight helped me get comfortable with being in a small plane and gave me comfort to how serious safety is to a pilot.   It helped me move to the next step, which was to get in a plane with my husband as the pilot.  

Here is the thing, if my husband had not followed those checklists, I would have been nervous about the plane and his ability to keep me safe. 

It’s been a year, and my husband still follows the checklists.  He still goes up regularly to practice spins and emergency landings.  

We have had some weather to manage in our flights.  Each time, he has remained calm and in control.  He has briefed me about the plan, the contingency plan, and the contingency contingency plan.  I have always felt safe because of the approach he takes.  He doesn’t cut corners, and he always plans. 

As we were flying home and I thought about this, I thought how similar this is to business.  

When we have a plan, when we have a system and a process, we ensure we know where we are going, and we deliver consistent services with predictable outcomes. 

I have a process when coaching a client.  I know what to do in week one, week two, week three, etc.  

When a new accountability group member joins, I have a process for onboarding them.   It ensures that they all get a similar experience. 

I have a process for running our accountability group meeting and for doing the check-ins.  Again it ensures that everyone gets the same level of service and helps the members know what will happen because I do it the same way each week. 

Consistency builds trust.  It also ensures predictable outcomes. 

As we were flying home, I shared that I appreciated that he was not a jump-in and fly kind of pilot.  I shared with him that my positive experience of being his co-pilot had a lot to do with following the checklists and running through them every time.  I shared with him that his dedication to practicing emergency procedures, planning his flights, and communicating contingency plans all worked together to ensure that he always felt safe with him.  

I shared with him that he had a co-pilot wife because he proactively avoided emergencies. 

I fell asleep on the way home—a compliment to how safe I feel in the air with my husband. 

The lesson from this flight:  A plan and consistent execution of the plan leads to trust. 

Do you have consistency in your business?