Business People Take to the Air
According to the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), the number of business people learning to fly has been increasing steadily, as people become more aware of the benefits of personal flying and grow increasingly frustrated with commercial air travel. Among the leading indicators of this trend are how pilots are using their licenses, the number of specialized business aircraft sold and the number of individual business members (vs. corporate members) in the NBAA. NBAA officials note the number of business people who actually join an organization such as theirs is just a fraction of the people in this category overall.
Warren Morningstar, vice president of communications for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), says, “Since Sept. 11, 2001, we’ve seen an increased interest in learning to fly, much of that from people who want to use an aircraft for business travel. We’ve also heard from many members who say they are using their personal aircraft more now for business travel to avoid the increased delays and restrictions encountered when flying the airlines.”
Here is a sample of the data from the Federal Aviation Administration, AOPA and NBAA:
- The two biggest uses of general aviation flying are personal (37.8 percent) and instruction (17.4 percent). Business use among individuals is 11.6 percent, the fourth largest category, just behind corporate use (12.2 percent).
- Total hours flown for business purposes has also been rising:
1997: 3.0 million hours
1998: 3.5 million hours
1999: 3.6 million hours
2000: 3.7 million hours
- According to the NBAA, the number of business members (individuals flying themselves for business) has also been increasing steadily:
Feb. 2001 1,456
Sept. 2001 1,489
April 2002 1,550
Keeping Your Phones Ringing
Moving or expanding your company office can be a source of tremendous stress and upheaval, according to Russ Goeckner, president of Amtec Communications, but it also offers an opportunity to upgrade and improve a variety of office features, including your phone system. Goeckner says many businesses outgrow their phone system long before they outgrow their office space. When planning a move to a new or expanded office, it is important to examine all aspects of your telecommunications needs – number and location of phones, voice mail, voice and data integration – to ensure your new system responds favorably to your present needs and will be able to expand to accommodate future growth.
Amtec offers the following checklist to help ensure your phones keep ringing with no interruption in service:
1. Set A Realistic Move Date. You should work closely with a telecommunications systems provider to help you set a realistic schedule for your phone system implementation. This will allow you to alert your customers and vendors of any anticipated phone number changes well in advance of your move date.
2. Select A Telecommunications Provider With Experience. After you select a provider with expertise in the installation, expansion and relocation of corporate phone systems, rely on his expert opinion.
3. Communicate Your Expectations. Make sure the proper phone configuration is agreed upon prior to installation. Also make sure the provider will work with you to effectively implement any needed changes to your existing system, including adding voice mail or upgrading the phone switch.
4. Plan Ahead For Local and Long-Distance Services. You should contact your communications system provider at least two months prior to your move to schedule a complete analysis of your present and future phone needs. Due to the highly competitive nature of long-distance service rates, this additional “shopping” time can result in substantial savings.
5. Plan Your Call-Forwarding and Number Changes. Your main phone and fax lines should be “remote call-forwarded” for at least six months after your move. Your customers will still be able to contact you by calling the old phone number, and will be seamlessly connected to the new number. Be sure to monitor your local phone bill for the number of calls being forwarded. As callers learn your new phone number, this figure will decline, and call-forwarding can eventually be replaced with a less costly referral recording.
6. Re-Direct Your 800 Numbers. You should order this work to be done far in advance of your move. It is vital this important service is fully operational on Day One in your new facility.
Character Counts After All
What employees want most from their leaders are basic principles such as honesty, integrity, ethics and caring, according to the results of a survey conducted by Right Management Consultants, a career transition and organizational consulting firm. “Employees today are looking for strength of character in their leaders,” said Lynn Godat, vice president organizational consulting for Arizona/Nevada. “They want to shake off the hangover of last year’s corporate scandals and financial sleight-of-hand and be reassured that their leaders are honest, ethical and caring individuals.”
Right Management asked 570 fulltime, white collar employees in the U.S., “What is the most important trait or attribute the leader of your company should possess?” The survey respondents cited a total of 28 attributes they felt were most important for their leaders to possess. The top five traits are shown below, along with the overall percentage of respondents who mentioned them as their first or second most important characteristic:
1. Honesty (24%)
2. Integrity/Morals/Ethics (16%)
3. Caring/Compassion (7%)
4. Fairness (6.5%)
5. Good relationships with employees, including approachability and listening skills (6%)
These top traits were generally consistent between male and female, as well as white and black respondents. One significant difference was seen between two age groups. Honesty was mentioned as the top trait by 38 percent of 55 to 64 year-olds, versus 16 percent of the 18 to 34 year-old group.
The bottom five attributes, including some traditionally associated with strong and well-respected leaders, were:
24. Creativity (1.2%)
25. Decisiveness (.8%)
26. Flexibility (.6%)
27. Good personality/sense of humor (.5)
28. Attention to detail (.4%)
Chris Pierce-Cooke, worldwide director of Right’s Organizational Consulting, noted an irony in the results of the study. “Employees are confronted with continued layoffs, a spotty recovery and three years of stock market declines. But they are not looking for leaders with a magic wand or a quick fix. Instead, they seem to be yearning for fundamental leadership principles, lessons on honesty and goodness that they were more likely to have learned in elementary school than in business or law school.”