Running a business like you drive a car

Do you run your business like you drive your car?

Do you speed up and slam on the brakes in traffic? Do you cut in and out of cars to get a few paces ahead? Do you push your car’s engine to its limits for a few seconds and then throttle back? Do you constantly exceed the speed limit, operate in a less than safe manner, and push the envelope hoping not to get caught and fined by the police? Do you signal changes to warn others, or do you just drive like you’re the only one on the road? Does your car look like it’s been through a parking lot full of shopping carts?

Or do you drive slower than the speed limit in the right lane all the time? Are you so tentative that people behind you are constantly honking? Do you let everyone pass or merge in because you’re unsure of the limits of your car or worried what others will do? Are you afraid to drive at night, in the rain, or pretty much anytime the conditions are not pristine? Are you super cautious and slow when looking for a store or address because you don’t know where you are or where you are going? Does your car look like it’s never been driven before?

Are you the one that drives in the left lane regardless of the speed of cars around you? Is your car on autopilot every day, regardless if you know where you’re going or not? Are you the one that exits the freeway from the left-hand lane or turns left from the right-hand turn lane? Are you always lost when driving and constantly missing your exit or turn? Does your car look like it doubles as a hobo shelter on weekends?

Are you…

The Aggressive — The Tentative — The Oblivious?

I know you see these drivers all the time–they are in every city and on every road, all the time. My question is, do they run their business like they drive?


Do you plan out your drive before every trip and think about your commute to work to ensure you get where you want to go with limited hassles?

When you run into unexpected delays, are you aware of alternate routes that get you where you want to go in a timely manner?

Do you find yourself traveling at a steady, safe, and legal rate of speed most of the time, operating in the right lane except when passing?

Are you sure that you’re not going to get pulled over for anything because you are confidently operating within the rules all the time?

Do you find that your car lasts longer than others because of the way you drive and maintain it?

Are you proud to invite others to ride with you because you don’t have to move mounds of trash out of their way to sit down or constantly apologize for the dirtiness or broken seat belt?

Do you always drive confidently, knowing your surroundings, the capabilities of your vehicle, and where you are most of the time?

Are you getting the most out of your vehicle from gas mileage to longevity?


As I watch people drive, I often think about how they are at work? Do they operate the same way driving a desk as they drive their car?

It’s scary sometimes to think about, but I suspect in many ways, the answer is yes. The aggressive, tentative, and oblivious are everywhere on the road and in business.

How do you drive your car?

Then again, some of us, just walk to work…


About johnrknotts
John Knotts is a results-oriented business professional leader, manager, and supervisor with experience from the military, small business, several nonprofits, and is currently a management consultant. Working out of the San Antonio, Texas, he retired from the Air Force in July 2008 and worked with Booz Allen Hamilton from the end of October 2008 to December 2011. Now he is a Strategic Business Adviser with USAA. John leads large and small strategic transformations and has extensive experience in the areas of change management, strategic planning, process improvement, strategic communication and marketing, strategic human capital and resource management, education and training, facilitation, organizational design and development, modeling and simulation, financial and budget analysis, activity based costing and management, quality management, competitive sourcing and privatization, leadership development, and business development.

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