Rule #2 ‘Stay focused on the objective and continuously re-evaluate your game plan.’
When I was in my teens, I worked at an airport. I learned how to be a mechanic working on airplanes, and eventually how to fly. My boss, the pilot Bruce, and the owner of the airport, Harry Hardee, used to tell me I would be the first Black crop duster in the south if I stuck with them. This was a perfect example of being in the middle of a great system that was inviting me in, but I did not have the right glasses on to see what was going on around me. If I had recognized that system opportunity, life could have been different. I could have become a fighter pilot in the military, a commercial airline pilot, or worked in some other role in the aviation community. Instead, my mind was focused on getting out of Georgia as opposed to seeing what was around me. I learned how to change brakes, change out a magneto, service aircraft, and then fly aircraft at a young age.
Unfortunately, I did not realize how beneficial this knowledge was to me. In retrospect, in learning the system, I did not realize I had been invited to the most prestigious aspect of the system in the South. The owner of the airport was definitely hardwired into the local business owners, the bankers, and so forth and so on. Proximity to him put me in a power position, and I could have written my ticket if I had chosen to stay in the South. I never had a father who sat me or my siblings down to share with us about life challenges or to recognize opportunity. So, I didn’t recognize the opportunity in front of me working at the airport.
The Navy excited me more, and it was a way out of the south. So, a career in aviation ended quickly right after high school.
The system is unforgiving; either you see it or you don’t. Once you have earned trust within the system, you have to safeguard it dearly. I had that chance, but I don’t regret my decision and I do appreciate being able to look back and see the system I was in and where I was in the system. I was able to recognize later in other similar systems the good position I was in so I didn’t miss future opportunities. This led to the understanding and enforcement of Rule of the System #2: Stay focused on the objective and continuously re-evaluate your game plan.
As it turned out, that rule would benefit me greatly in later life.
While in the navy, I was a member of the weapons department and the internal special weapons group, having received this designation right out of boot camp. We were a special, isolated group of people. We did not typically associate with other members of the ship, officers and enlisted, because of the nature of our weapons handling procedures and top secret information we dealt with on a daily basis. Intermingling with the rest of the crew would compromise the sensitive nature of our operations. So, hanging around the right people on board was paramount. Due to my nuclear weapons affiliation, my group was even smaller than ever. I couldn’t talk about what I did to anyone except fellow weapons shipmates on the ship. We worked behind locked doors. We always had to wear a badge around our necks for identification to access our spaces.
Once again I was too young and uninformed to fully realize or understand what I was doing working with and around nuclear weapons and how critical it was doing the sensitive things to the weapons we did. The program I was in was called the personal reliability program. As a member, I wasn’t allowed to have any personal problems with money, alcohol or drugs, mental instability, or anything that questioned your character or integrity. At the time when all this was happening in my life, I had no idea that this was all part of the shaping and building process that was making me the man who I became. I simply implemented Rule of the System #2: Stay focused on the objective and continuously re-evaluate your game plan. I’m so thankful I was open-minded enough to receive all this learning and information. I’m also glad I was level-headed enough to not let anything too excessive happen in my life, and I was able to see the benefits of being a part of this program.
Timing is everything. It’s now been ten years since my company Omni2Max has been in business. The company has gone through many changes. All the life lessons I’ve been learning, as a teen at the airport and as a member of the navy, have accumulated to this point in my life in the system. The values, the methodologies, the lessons are wonderful, and what I’ve learned is unmatched to what I had ever witnessed in my life. I have navigated through many systems, steadfastly following my set of rules to get to where I am today. All the rules are methodologies that intertwine, providing a fundamental baseline for success. No matter which system you are in at any given time, it boils down to right and wrong, good and bad. Intellectual astuteness is very valuable, but the ability to step outside a situation and look at it for what it is—that’s far more critical to success. You also have to take the time to know your thought process and how it applies to the life you are intending to have.
Always stay focused on the objective, and never be afraid to re-evaluate your game plan with an open mind.