Friday, June 21, 2013

Fly Away

                            Fly Away

We flew to the Adirondacks this week to begin our annual summer sojourn in the mountains. And on this longest day of the year I have a few extra daylight hours to reflect on the experience of flying away.

When traveling, one thing is painfully obvious: the airline industry doesn’t help make travel enjoyable.  Airports in general get low marks for service or efficiency: we need reservations and yet ticket counters and security check points don’t seem aware of how many of us might be arriving at any given time.  (An example of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.)  And gate personnel are more interested in giving orders than service: eye contact and smiles were missing. (An example of knowing what and not understanding why.)  And it doesn’t seem to have crossed anyone’s minds that charging for baggage leads to too many carry-ons: I guess the law of unintended consequences is lost on them.  (An example of not understanding customer needs or behavior.)

We live in a mobile world, and yet the folks who most promote and are responsible for that mobility act like they’re doing us a favor.  They act like they don’t have any competition, and the sad truth is that unless we only go where we can drive or take a train, they don’t.  But it doesn’t have to be this way: they could smile and make eye contact, they could be a little self-deprecating and empathetic, and they could actually utilize some of the technology that is so available (and acceptable) in so many other aspects of our lives.  But I guess in order to do any of these kinds of thing, they first have to care….and sadly it appears they don’t.  The moral of this story: always treat others the way you want to be treated!

My message this week is about acting like a business owner when working and providing goods and services for others:

“Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves -- to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterday by our today.”  Stewart B Johnson

Ever hear it said: “if you’re not moving forward then you‘re falling behind…”?  Most business owners (and managers who feel like owners) feel that way – so they work extra hard at creating ways to sell or do more while spending the same or less. But after a while, that gets progressively harder because you run out of ideas.  That’s when it’s good to look around for best practices, listen to and learn from others, and fearlessly try new things.  It’s even good to go back and re-look at what you might have done before and could do more of, or what didn’t work quite right and could use a little tweaking.   So act like an owner and go break some of your own records today!

Stay well!

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