As executive vice president of PEI, I travel a lot: conferences, commit- tee meetings, regional trade
shows, speaking engagements, regulatory summits, convention planning trips,
and best of all, member visits.
In 2018, that added up to 127 ;ights
on American Airlines and a few on Southwest.
All that time in airports, on planes and
in the back seats of Ubers led me to some
tricks that make travel less painful, more
e;cient and enjoyable.
Some of these lessons from the road
also apply to business.
Here are my top ;ve crossover ideas.
1. Plan. Wait until the last minute to
book a ticket, and you’re asking for
trouble. Your options will be fewer
and your costs will be greater. It’s the
same in business. Planning for big
decisions and investments almost
always produces better results and
doesn’t cost as much. (Similarly, when
your customers request immediate
work that they should have scheduled
months ago, it’s going to cost them
more because your workers must
2. Double-check your work. Once, I
booked a ticket to Rochester, Minnesota, rather than to my intended destination — Rochester, New York. Had I
not checked my travel plans a couple
of weeks before the trip, I would have
missed my target by 950 miles. Always
double-check your work — a job bid,
for example — to prevent expensive
3. Be flexible. Things don’t always
go as planned. Rough weather and
mechanical di;culties often delay or
cancel ;ights. Experienced travelers
build in bu;ers and backup plans in
case their original schedules go awry.
The same applies to smart businesses.
Plan for the unexpected, and be ready
to deploy your Plan B or Plan C.
4. Be nice. Yelling at a gate agent about
a cancelled ;ight doesn’t work well
under any scenario. The agent isn’t
responsible for thunderstorms or
broken wheel assemblies. If you’re
understanding and gracious, however,
that agent might search for your best
alternative routes. Kindness works
in business, too, with employees,
vendors and customers. People tend
to go out of their way for pleasant
people. They also tend to avoid the
5. Enjoy the ride. Travel is exhausting,
but there is much to enjoy, expe-
rience and appreciate if you look:
incredible views, interesting people
and new places to explore. In the
same way, managing a business
often is physically and emotionally
demanding. Remind yourself why you
get up every day and do it again and
again. You provide jobs, foster safety
in a dangerous industry, protect the
environment and keep the wheels of
commerce moving. You might as well
have fun doing it.
From the Road
Thoughts and Observations
From the Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
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