top of page

A New Frame Of Reference – First Key

Written by: David Campbell, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Following on from my previous article “A new frame of reference”. Our businesses are like ships. They are built for the purpose to travel the grand adventure that is business.

You built it to actually get dirty and, as you do that, as you go out through the heads, you're going to strike storms, you're going to strike times when there's no wind and you can't go forward. You’re stuck and don’t know what to do – but the experienced sailor knows, the experienced business owner knows. The ones who have taken the time to become trained, disciplined and experienced – they know exactly what to do and that is part of the thrill of it. That is part of the grand adventure of business.

The storm will come regardless. It's whether you have the strength, to withstand it and then know what to do in order to make wins happen.

As I have worked in businesses and with business owners I have become convinced that there are four keys to business success. Allow me to expand on the first one.

Develop the Owner not the Business

There is no potential in the ship alone, just as there is no potential in a business alone. It is the Master and crew who transform the ship into a vibrant and performing vessel. In the hands of a novice Master, the ship will not perform at its peak level or capacity. The Master needs to be a ship handler, a topman, a navigator, a ship wright, a sailor, a marine and so much more. Growing the Master will grow the performance and potential of the vessel.

Your business is the same. There is no potential in your business as it is on its own. All the potential lies within you (the owner) and then your team. Growing your abilities, skills and awareness will grow your business.

I worked with and in an organisation called Charity Computers, we saw exponential growth as a result of gathering the entire team of staff and volunteers around a common vision and values. All the staff saw the potential of the organisation to impact the community and they enthusiastically rallied around that goal. The organisation grew as a result of the individual staff realising their own and corporate potential.

Using my analogy of ships again, the ship has absolutely no potential if it is unattended. The Master of the ship or the captain and the crew, in the hands of a novice Master, is not going to perform very well at all. It's not going to realise its performance potential. That's why, in the Navy, we used to constantly practise war-games. To get the best results, you practise doing all of the things you do, so that you get it right. You work as a team; you start to become really effective as a team. The same principal applies in the business context. We need to understand how the team functions to deliver the best results.

Now, for a single business owner, you've got to deal with it all yourself. You need to know how to handle the ship. You need to know how to sail. You need to know how to navigate, repair things on the ship. You have to be the sailor. You have to be the Marine, not just to keep it afloat and sailing, but to protect and nurture it. There is so much that is involved in knowing your vessel, your business. So, the idea is to grow and develop the ability of the Master or the captain and that will then grow the performance and potential of the vessel. When you take that into the business context, the same thing holds.

Small business owners start out with the absolute requirement of needing to know how to do and be everything. They need to be able to navigate the ship and sail the vessel. They also need a keen sense of when it’s right to tack, put up more sail or drop anchor. Then they need to do the quick dash to the helm, (steering wheel) once again – their leadership, knowledge and skills are everything. You've got to be able to do all of that as a small business owner. You will need to start developing the owner or the successful voyage, the Grand Adventure, will be just a pipe-dream.

As a business owner, the first thing I did was to sit down and focus on my vision for the business. What values did I desire in the business? What values did the crew have that enhanced our vision? The potential, from that moment on, was exponential. It was exciting, vibrant, infectious and deliberate. So, growing the owner, growing the business, the staff and growing the potential is a vitally important aspect.

My question to you, the business owner is, what are you doing to grow yourself? Love to hear from you about your business.

Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


David Campbell, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

David is an exceptionally experienced executive coach. He is an exceptional public speaker who challenges the way organisations and individuals think in relation to business and life. has led reform within a number of organisations and brings a unique understanding of the pressures in both the public and private sectors. He understands the changing requirements and time frames within the business environment and has considerable experience in leading, managing and coaching geographically dispersed (remote) teams. David brings a new insight into the way we think into our success in business to realise exceptional results.



  • linkedin-brainz
  • facebook-brainz
  • instagram-04


bottom of page