Planes may use runways in the literal sense but I have come to embrace the concept for many other aspects in life. A runway is a way of initially moving toward your destination – being in motion when you’re not quite ready or able to fly. By intentionally incorporating a runway phase to a project or idea, you can accelerate progress in the early stages.

Some examples:

  • The dreaded icebreakers at a workshop can be reframed as “runways” – allowing participants to get focused and mentally prepared to dive into the main content
  • An internship can provide a runway for a new hire or career
  • Short-term financial and housing assistance provided to a new graduate can serve as a runway to launch them until they are established
  • A side hustle can serve as a runway to test out a full-fledged entrepreneurial venture
  • A pilot or beta-testing acts as a runway to a product launch
  • Dog-sitting can be a runway to personal ownership of an animal
  • Writing a blog could serve as a runway to authoring a book

Planes do not go from the gate directly into the air – they travel from stopped to airborne via the runway. The bigger the plane (aka: idea), the longer the runway that is required, but no plane takes flight without the initial path of acceleration. Your ideas can benefit from a similarly planned ramp-up of energy.

 

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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