Navigating Through the Turbulence

October 5, 2020

Covid-19 continues to be an unprecedented storm causing disruption, and immeasurable turbulence in all our lives. It has stricken family and friends, affected our jobs and careers, and socially isolated us in unparalleled ways. And while these are clearly extraordinary times, the truth is that we all must fly through turbulence at various times in our lives.

So, what is the best way to navigate through this turbulent storm we find ourselves in today? Let me share a pilot’s perspective on some of the choices we’ll have.

  1. Fly straight through the storm.
    Using our radar, we sometimes jet through the small openings in the clouds, dodging back and forth, and slipping through the creases in the storm. It’s usually a rough ride and we’ll get bounced around a bit, but in short order, we’ll burst out on the other side with clear skies ahead. In the business world, the company Zoom, illustrates this approach. Covid-19 caused major privacy and security concerns for the company as use of the platform skyrocketed, but navigating straight through the turbulence resulted in soaring revenue and quadrupled earnings for Zoom since last year.
  2. Fly around the storm.
    If the weather is too dense, we’ll need to parallel the storm until we can get around it. This will take us away from our planned route and require us to use additional fuel but after the deviation, we can get back on track to our destination. Good friends of mine in the professional speaking business have had to take this approach. With live events cancelled and revenue gone, they have resorted to giving ‘virtual’ presentations to keep their business afloat until people gather for live conferences again.
  3. Land someplace else.
    On rare occasions when the weather is especially bad, getting to the planned destination is just not an option and we’ll have to land at a different place altogether. I spoke to a young friend of the family recently, who is taking this approach. A former waiter at a bistro, the restaurant industry has been hit especially hard by Covid-19 and his business has closed permanently. He is now at the local technical college getting a computer programming degree.

The key point is that different circumstances required different approaches to navigate through the turbulence and deal with a major storm but there is one thing that always remains constant; keeping control of the jet and flying it with excellence; defined very simply as doing the very best you can, whatever the circumstances, each and every time.

As you continue to deal with Covid-19, or the other turbulence you’ll need to navigate through in life, commit to doing whatever you do with excellence. This is the one constant that enables you to ride through the turbulence, weather the storm and arrive safely at your intended destination.


“If a man does his best, what else is there?”
-George S. Patton, Jr.,
American Army general, West Point Class of 1909