In a former life I managed a large team of writers and editors. My job, as I saw it, was to remove obstacles that prevented the team from being successful. These obstacles were the same for every person on the team: a lack of focus, perfectionism, poor time management, difficulty with conflict and a lack of vision. Sound familiar?
Identifying and attacking these obstacles were key to helping my team successfully deliver effective writing projects to our clients on deadline. The results were satisfied customers who returned for more writing projects.
This same scenario applies to marine fabrication. If fabricators can successfully identify and dodge these obstacles, they can successfully deliver stellar projects to their clients while also turning a profit. Satisfied clients beget additional projects and new clients. It’s a circle of success connected by an awareness of obstacles and a desire to address these obstacles through education, discipline and creativity.
This issue will touch on many of these themes. The 2021 MFA Fabrication Excellence Awards celebrate the highest levels of marine craftsmanship. The winning projects demonstrate the powerful effects of overcoming obstacles to reach success. The feature “Husband and Wife Teams” discusses how to juggle the complications and obstacles of marriage and day-to-day business logistics. Darren Arthur, Nautilux Custom Canvas, discusses how tech can improve your shop processes. Terri Madden and Alayna Wool, Sand Sea & Air Interiors, offer magical solutions for transforming a vessel with “good bones” into a showstopper. And Charlene Clark, IFM, Signature CanvasMakers, discusses the vision required to move from growing your business to scaling your company.
Successfully identifying and removing obstacles is a daily challenge that we’re all tasked with, both professionally and personally. I think this Zen proverb captures it wonderfully: “Obstacles do not block the path. They are the path.”