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Pilot or Passenger?

Who’s flying the plane?

Sitting on a plane on the way to our MSI conference is a great time for reflection.

Noise cancelling headphones and a glass of red wine do assist in the reflective process.

A discussion I often had with businesses I’ve worked with over the last 20 years (I’ve had the privilege of working with great businesses) is around what makes some businesses work and some fail. I’ve made notes over the years from both camps and thought it’s opportune to get some of these down. Broadly my observation is that these fall into two styles:


  • Have planned their route
  • Know they are responsible for the people around them
  • Have a strong team around them
  • Know what to do in an emergency
  • Good at what they do—Not too many guesses where the business successes lie.


  • Follow the crowd
  • Wait to get served (I was in economy)
  • Can’t always see where they are going
  • Let someone else take control

That being said, I’ve generally also seen some pixie dust or devil’s droppings.

Pixie Dust

  • Happy enjoying the challenges
  • Learning from mistakes

Devil’s Droppings

  • Resentful
  • Making excuses

In my humble opinion, a pilot with pixie dust stands a far higher chance of success in business and certainly my observation from working with successful businesses.

Whilst some of these traits are nirvana for many, they can, for the most part, be learnt.

At MP+ we’ve assisted many businesses on this journey and have some great success stories that we’ll be sharing with you over the forthcoming months.

Get in touch to see how we can assist you.

Article By
Dominic Rollerson

written by:

Dominic has over 25 years of experience in working alongside business owners in both Australia and the United Kingdom including a number of years working in commerce. With a high level of expertise in business structuring, business acquisitions/disposals and business planning, coupled with a broad range of experience in dealing with businesses from start-ups through to listed companies, on both an Australian and international basis, Dominic has amassed a wealth of experience in understanding what makes a great business and focusses on partnering with businesses in an action focussed, yet light hearted manner.
Dominic is a member of the Chartered Institute of Accountants of Australia, a Chartered Tax Advisor, a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia.

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