It seems the latter part of the third quarter and thus far the fourth quarter has been one big Monday. The positive side of all this is that it has by far been the busiest second half of a year that we have experienced perhaps since the founding of Par Avion. Our inventory is moving, new listings have come our way and the number of calls to us for assistance has kept the phones ringing and the days jammed from early until late. The not so good side of all this is that Murphy has not been far behind the heels of activity. The take-away? Follow the Girl Scout or Boy Scout motto and always be prepared so as to turn a “Monday” into any other day of the week.
I am a known cross the “T” and dot the “i” kind of person. Attention to detail is my tag-line and follow through my mantra. I am mindful of my own take on what could go wrong, will go wrong and try to contingency plan for such. Add to that when I get a gut-feeling, I listen to it. This is how I avoid Rainy Days and Mondays from getting me down. Now, please do not get me wrong and think that a cloud has been following me lately or that I am fearful of things going wrong. Quite the contrary! Come Monday it will be alright. I am driven to success and the path to it that I have found includes being able to quickly rebound from setbacks and otherwise avoid problems. How does this apply to an airplane deal you ask? How does it not!
Let’s start with there is only so much you can direct in a deal as there are a number of other participants that one must rely upon to do their part in order for common goals to be met. You may by default end up doing the job of, and for, these other participants, but like the Nike slogan goes “Just do it”. That undone task is always going to come at the most inopportune time and you may be exhausted, stressed, overwhelmed and plain just out of time, but bite the bullet and just do it.
My way of preparing for such occurrences is by adhering to a strict time management regime, working to clear my desk of tasks that are not time sensitive when I can so as to have room in my schedule when such things do come up and by anticipating the needs of all the parties to the transaction. This requires discipline and that is one commodity I am not short on. As a concrete thinker I am information driven. Gathering what I need to fully understand a maintenance squawk for example benefits not just me, but my Client and those who sit across the table from us. No sense writing up a discrepancy that is not familiar to anyone but the maintenance team without as well providing the criteria to support it. Requesting the support information that will be needed to help understand the write-up once you know there is a discrepancy being added to the squawk list helps move things along. Again, this is all about saving time and not finding yourself Monday morning quarter-backing a plethora of requests all the while leaving the current moneymaking deal wanting. This is how you avoid having a Blue Monday.
Managing communication is a challenge we all face in our device driven society. We are tethered to smart phones and computers of all sizes and bombarded with alerts, beeps and pop-up messages. How you manage the influx of information is going to greatly dictate how effectively you are going to be able to process, assimilate and accurately report. I find that I need to some degree unplug and put the incoming information into a queue. When the pressure is on and a deal needs my attention, texts are silenced, Outlook closed and my cell phone out of reach (unless of course I am out of the office). Focus, focus, focus! If I am needed in the midst of chaos, Ma Bell is standing by waiting for your call as is an able-bodied assistant to help me manage my tasks. Nothing gets left undone; it simply gets prioritized based on need. But then there’s Murphy.
Murphy visited me this recent Monday morning starting with a 2AM text alert warning of a serious delay to my commercial airline flight that morning during what is the busiest travel week in the States and into the busiest corridor in the U.S. No one would blame me for saying I Don’t Like Mondays when you start one this way. As an early bird to begin with I was able to eat that worm and make time work for me. Calm reigned as the scheduling upsets which included a canceled flight, rebooked flight which in turn got delayed, text messages bringing the first flight back on line, double-booked and the threat of losing all my seats due to the double-booking, grew. A proficient multi-tasker I elected to blow-dry my hair while I held for the United rep. Good call….as I finished and more by the time this customer service rep got back on the phone! Murphy just would not give it a rest though. With an inbox full of inquiries from across multiple time zones focusing on two ongoing transactions, my laptop decided to block my entry to the Windows side of the computer (or dark side as you MAC users know it). Of course the only available IT guy was perplexed as to how I was running Windows on a MAC.
Time management, contingency planning, task prioritizing and being highly organized will help you meet any challenge your day may bring and help you avoid a Manic Monday. Oh and a private jet.