G.O.A.L. – Get Out And Look

Business owners can learn a lot from truck drivers.

Driving a big 18-wheeler comes with its own special challenges. The biggest challenge is probably the other drivers they are forced to deal with on the road; definitely fodder for a future article.

Aside from that, a big challenge they face almost daily is backing into tight spaces. Now, if you’ve ever watched an experienced drive maneuver that rig into a tight parking space, you may not think it’s that difficult because they make it seem effortless. Yet, if you’ve ever tried to back a trailer or boat into a tight space, you know how difficult it can be.

I’ve seen a few rigs with stickers on their side mirrors and in the cab of the truck: GOAL. That doesn’t mean a target of hours or miles per day. It’s an acronym: Get Out And Look.

When backing into spaces, the driver can easily lose sight of the back of the truck. Good drivers are trained to get out of the cab and walk around the rig. They take notice of obstacles in the area, how close they are in relation to the rig. Only by getting out of the cab and visually inspecting the area can they make a plan to avoid damage to their rig or other obstacles.

Business Owners Should Take Notice

As a business owner, you should adopt the G.O.A.L. mentality. Don’t assume you know what’s going on in your shop; don’t assume you know what’s going on with your work crews; get out and look. Spend time with your employees, spend time walking the shop floor or the job site. Look for obstacles that may keep you from completing jobs on time. Look for ways to improve your current processes, reduce wait times, and improve quality.

Don’t assume you know what’s going on with your customers, especially after the long quarantine. Get out and look. Speak to them, call them, conduct a survey. Ask for honest feedback and then act on any complaints they have.

Don’t assume you know what’s going on with your vendors or suppliers. Get out and look. Meet with vendors on a regular basis. Talk about ways to improve the experience for both of you. Talk about supply chain issues and how to avoid them. Talk about pricing discounts or how to streamline the ordering process.

In business, just like driving your vehicle, you have blindspots; areas where you have limited visibility to what’s happening or to potential hazards. The only way to avoid problems is to see them early enough so you can take corrective actions. Set yourself a daily or weekly goal; get out and look.

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