Business owners come from all walks of life, including one who's previously a jet fighter pilot. Coming from a high-octane, high-risk background, how does he view business?
Speaking to My Business’ sister publication Defence Connect, Christian Boucousis shares how his time as an RAAF fast-jet pilot prepared him for the world of business as managing director of motivational training consultancy, Afterburner Australia.
Here are Christian’s three key points for every business owner to perform at their peak and respond to any sudden changes:
1. Keep calm in frantic scenarios
For Christian, the key things business owners can take from the experience of jet pilots in defence are clarity and simplicity.
“There's no doubt what defence is trying to achieve, in the battlefield sense, is very, very complex, and I think what happens is that completely can become overwhelming, and what we lose is clarity as a result,” he says.
“I think we need to almost approach it with a mantra, which is, ‘What is the effect defence is trying to achieve and what are the objectives to support that?’
“If we're sitting down and we're talking between defence and [business], it's almost the opening question. What are we sitting here for, and what are we trying to achieve?’”
Christian also considers the “debriefing process” found in defence to be quite applicable to business.
“It's a case of saying, ‘Well look, we all set out to achieve something here. The world has changed. There's innovation, there's new ways of going about the same problem, and therefore, often our capability and objectives and requirements start to translate a little bit out of what we're contracted to achieve’,” he says.
3. Keep lines of communication open
Anyone in a defence situation knows communication is crucial. This is also important in a business context, according to Christian.
“There's any number of events where you're able to make a connection, and I think it's as simple as saying, ‘This is what I do, who do I talk to?’ in your organisation to get this done,” he says.
“I think as an SME, don't think of it as you've got a product to deliver.
“Get in the car, go to a trade show: you don't even need a stand. Just buy a ticket and just knock on the doors, introduce yourself and organise a coffee.”