When I was little, we used to make kites out of newspaper stretched over a frame of balsa wood and string. We’d tape the paper or glue it into place and then we’d use scraps of fabric from the rag bag, torn into thin strips and tied into a long tail. The tail would be secured on the kite and we’d then attach a long length of heavy cord like the cotton used to tie a package for the mail back in the day. Then, when the wind was right, we’d head out into the field and run our kites till the wind lifted them high into the sky. Once afloat, you could stay in one place and guide them into the drafts and watch them dance.
I got to thinking about those kites of childhood and how they reflect what we do with our business. You might think it’s just the big parts of the business that craft our flight, but truly, our business lies in the small details. How do we treat one another? What attention do we pay to the details of our paperwork? How do we treat deadlines? How do we take care of responding to offers? How do we follow up with our clients? What do we do when parts of our business, like communication or promises made, get broken or torn?
Yes, the design of our kites is important, because without good structure, we haven’t got a chance at ever flying high. Still, though it might sound funny, I think we all need to check our tails.