||The Aviation Industry vs. The Conspiracy of the Unmotivated

The Aviation Industry vs. The Conspiracy of the Unmotivated

I was listening to Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazer’s audiobook “The Conspiracy of the Unmotivated” and it occurred to me this was one of the biggest reasons  I love working in aviation.

Although the rest of the world may be struck with a profound malaise and overcome with excuses; aviators, on the other hand, are NOT unmotivated people.

I talk to a lot of people every week, many of whom are not aviators, or it’s been a long time since they’ve flown.  You can tell this because most of them are very nice, agreeable, pleasant people, but they would rather make excuses than make money.

If we have an hour to spend together, they will spend forty five minutes of it giving very good and creative reasons why nothing will work, despite any efforts to turn the conversation to a constructive direction. They blame the economy, the President, their divorce, their plumber, their kids, and their accountant for the fact that their competitors are passing them as if they were backing up.

They won’t invest in marketing, they won’t take risks with their product, pricing, or positioning, They won’t give quarter to any possibility of improvement in their situation.

There’s nothing I can do to help them.  And I don’t take them as clients. (I have a neat little questionnaire to weed them out so that I don’t take their money and they don’t take my time.)

Aviators, on the other hand, find a way or make a way.

If their current market isn’t buying their current product or service, they’ll research new markets or ask their customers what they’d like to see changed.  If they don’t have the capital to do a direct mail campaign, they find a partner and do a joint mailing. If they don’t have the right contacts on their list, they’ll find someone who is in touch with the right people and come up with a mutually beneficial arrangement.

If they need to learn a skill, they get a book or video or they’ll hire a consultant.  If they’re not technically inclined, they’ll get someone with computer expertise. If writing’s not their thing, (or they don’t have the time) they’ll hire a ghostwriter.

They may be conservative with their money, but they’re willing to give value for honest value, and they’re NOT conservative with their optimism, creativity, resourcefulness and work ethic.

There are couple of reasons for this:

  • People who are afraid to take risks and really live life stay in their nice safe corporate cubicle and stay far away from this industry. There is no “comfort zone” here.
  • In an airplane, pilots use the airspeed and altitude they’ve got to work with, and don’t waste a split second or an erg of energy arguing about why things should be different than they are. Indecision can get you killed.

Oh, and lazy aviators don’t live very long!

(Darwin at work?  It’s a not a nice thing to say, but the world could use a few less lazy people to get us out of the mess we’re in.)

Thank God for aviation people, and other courageous, motivated businesspeople. I don’t know WHAT we’d do without them!

Okay, done ranting. Thanks for reading! Carry on with your Monday. 🙂

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  1. Avatar
    Joey July 19, 2010 at 8:35 am - Reply

    So then what is it that makes it such a tough industry? Why is it so difficult to be profitable? Save the few major airlines, like Southwest, most others seem to be losing money.

    • Avatar
      Paula July 19, 2010 at 8:41 am - Reply

      Good question – To be fair, I work mostly with business aviation, rather than the airlines.

      If I had to guess about the airlines I would say 1) They have been competing on price, in a race to the bottom, so their margins are really small, and 2) it is very expensive to keep up with the huge and increasing body of regulations airlines have to deal with.

      That said, the creative and courageous (those willing to adapt to the present situation rather than spending time and energy whining about it) are the ones that seem to be doing the best. What do you think. Joey?

  2. Avatar
    Joe Braddock July 19, 2010 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    The idea of entitlement, lack of proactive thinking, and accountability are factors that have greatly contributed to the situation in the world today. It has affected all aspects of life to community to culture to business.

    Why are US airlines some of the worst in relation to service? Fly an Asian airline like Thai or Singpore and you will wonder why. While it may not be ‘technically’ required to be an overachiever or leader at your job, how about just having some basic pride in the job we do and respecting others because it’s the right thing to do? We have a choice. In this ‘Age of Correction’, those who realize that the world does not revolve around them and contribute to societal and community values will make it. Those who do not will continue to struggle. Change starts with us.

    • Avatar
      Paula July 19, 2010 at 5:17 pm - Reply

      Excellent point, Joe! The best flight I’ve ever taken was on Emirates from New York to Paris. The flight was well-managed, the service was excellent, the staff went out of their way to inform us on the status of a connection, and the food was good! I almost didn’t know how to react. 🙂

      I advise our clients to astonish their customers with more value for their money than they’re expecting. And, to paraphrase you and Gandhi, (have you ever been paraphrased with Gandhi before?) we need to “be the change we want to see in the world.”

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