Mar 3 2011

Come Fly With Me

Come Fly With Me

I do a lot of travel for work.  That means I spend a lot of time on planes, some of which is “wasted” – or at least time that can’t be productive for work in the traditional sense of being connected, or in a lot of cases, of even reading.  One thing I’ve always appreciated in my career but have grown even more attached to of late is traveling with colleagues.  Any time I have an opportunity to do so, I jump on it.

First, I find that I get solid work time in with a colleague in transit.  A check-in meeting that isn’t rushed with a hard stop, interrupted by the phone or visitors, and in-person.

Second, I find that I get more “creative” work time in with a colleague on a flight, especially a long one.  Some of the time that isn’t in a structured meeting invariably turns to brainstorming or more idle work chatter.  Some great ideas have come out of flights I’ve taken in the past 11 years!

Finally, my colleague and I get more social time in than usual on a plane.  Social time is an incredibly important part of managing and developing personal connections with employees.  Time spent next to each other in the air, in an airport security line or lounge, in a rental car, “off hours” always lends itself to learning more about what’s going on in someone’s life.

Don’t get me wrong – even when I travel with someone from Return Path, we each have some “quiet time” to read, work, sleep, and contemplate life.  But the work and work-related aspects of the experience are not to be ignored.