Tag Archives: Every
Wichita Falls is a city of about 100,000 people in northeast Texas. It looks like there’s a lot of stunning natural beauty nearby.
But what the airport at Wichita Falls doesn’t have, apparently, is a place to get a nice meal near the airport, especially if 100 or more people unexpectedly show up all at once.
This became relevant last week, when American Airlines flight 2354 from Los Angeles to Dallas-Fort Worth was diverted there due to extreme thunderstorms. Passengers were looking at the likelihood of having to scramble to find a place to stay overnight, to say nothing of finding a bite to eat.
And the captain on their flight came up with a very simple solution.
In short, he called up the local Papa John’s and ordered 40 pizzas for his 159 passengers. As far as we know, he fronted the entire bill, $ 500 or more, himself. And his simple gesture went viral.
The captain’s name: Jeff Raines, according to CNN. His actions–in fact the moments when he found himself running back and forth from the terminal to the Papa John’s delivery car–was all captured on video by an airport worker named Josh Raines (no indication they’re related).
As Josh explained later in his Twitter feed, the passengers were going to travel the rest of the way to Dallas via bus. But Wichita Falls Municipal Airport is actually a mostly military airport, attached to Sheppard Air Force Base. It’s just not equipped for a sudden, unexpected influx of passengers.
Jeff Raines (the captain) apparently followed the whole thing up with an explanation on Facebook:
Thanks for the compliments however this was a “TEAM” effort. My First Officer was on the telephone with crew tracking / hotel desk arranging for our release and hotels for the entire crew.
The Flight Attendants manned a galley cart from the aircraft serving waters, juice, and sodas to all the passengers in the terminal. All while the Envoy SPS Personnel were arranging for a bus, re-booking flights, and answering a flurry of questions from these passengers.
Thanks to everyone for your help – there is no “I” in TEAM.
It’s unclear whether the passengers continued to Dallas via bus, as both Josh Raines and Jeff Raines seem to have suggested, or if they flew there the next morning, as American corporate P.R. says. I suspect it’s possible some passengers might have continued on to Dallas via bus; others waited for the flight the next day.
But the real point here is an airline employee taking it upon himself to do something that’s clearly not listed in the American Airlines handbook, but that has a lot of potential to increase passengers’ affinity for the airline.
We’ve seen this repeatedly lately, for example with the Southwest Airlines captain who rerouted a flight to enable a passenger to get an amazing photo of the Great American Eclipse in 2017, and the Southwest flight attendant who worked to allow a passenger who has Down syndrome to fulfill her dream, at least for a day, of working as a flight attendant.
These little actions help any business’s reputation, and they often pay big dividends. For its pilot’s $ 500 pizza outlay, American clearly got a lot more than $ 500 worth of brand equity or marketing.
It doesn’t even really matter if the passengers like pizza. Simply by making the effort, the captain bought goodwill.
“We are always proud of our crew members who take great care of our customers who fly on American Airlines,” American said in an email. “We are fortunate that our crew members are the best in the business.”
Don’t feel bad for taking a vacation. Truth is, it’s good for you and your career to use up every single one of those vacation days. However, you’d be surprised how many Americans aren’t taking advantage of this opportunity, but when you’re finished reading this, Bermuda may be calling your name.
Project: Time Off’s State of American Vacation 2018 report found that 52% of American workers have unused vacation days. This leads to a total of 705 million unspent vacation days, 212 million of which cannot be reimbursed. Thus, the result was American employees leaving $ 62 billion – or $ 561 per person – on the table, so to speak.
The average American takes only 17.2 vacation days each year, though most will only spend 8 of those days traveling. Think about that for a second. In an entire year, most Americans will spend a little over a week using their vacation days as intended.
Using those extra 9.2 days makes a significant difference. How much so? Those who use all or most of their days off are:
- 56% happier with their health
- 20% happier with their relationships
- 28% happier with their companies (hello employee longevity)
- 24% happier with their careers
- 18% more likely to have gotten a promotion within the last two years (when compared to infrequent travelers)
The takeaway: if you use your vacation, you’ll be promoted. Just kidding, but the statistics are legitimately both compelling & startling.
Happy = Productive
As we all know, happy employees are the most productive. They’re also even more creative, efficient, loyal, and can help significantly improve the company’s bottom line. Employees that are happy with their company will surely feel obligated to give each day their best effort.
Treat your employees well and your company will blossom in return. And keep in mind, taking breaks has many benefits too. It helps workers remain productive, retain information, and avoid burnout.
But won’t taking all my vacation make me look bad?
Well, Tom, I’m glad you asked that thought-provoking question to yourself. Sure, many workers fear taking advantage of all their vacation time can make them appear disinterested and replaceable. Au Contraire — let’s myth-bust this real quick with the managerial take on it:
- 90% of managers think that workers who plan their vacations ahead of time are responsible.
- 85% of say that planning ahead makes it easier to schedule work around an employee’s absence.
- 43% of managers say that they often can’t approve vacations since the worker didn’t give enough notice time.
It’s a win/win, people.
It’s time to start treating yourself to the vacations you deserve. America is the only developed country where employers aren’t obligated to provide workers with paid vacation days or holidays (and on that note, American employees aren’t entitled to sick days or maternity leave either). In fact, a quarter of Americans don’t get a single paid day off all year. Meanwhile, New Zealand, Italy, Austria, Belgium, France, and several other countries all give workers at least a month off every year.
So be thankful, take advantage of what you have, and go somewhere nice. The dividends will pay off…literally.
Yes, I accept postcards.
Entrepreneurs who feel lucky report higher levels of motivation and wellbeing, both essential for sustaining performance during tough times. So how do you cultivate your own daily luck? Here are three things to do every day,
1. Choose A Lucky Attitude.
Luck is about flexibility of mind and a willingness to experiment and trust your gut. Take advantage of chance occurrences, break the weekly routine, and once in a while have the courage to let go. The world is full of opportunity if you’re prepared to embrace it. Steve Jobs emphasized the importance of trusting your gut when he delivered his now infamous commencement address at Stanford University: “If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something–your gut, destiny, life, and karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
2. Be Ready.
Luck is as much about what you expect as what you do. Do you wait for success to happen, or do you get out there and make it happen? In his book The Luck Factor, Professor Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire, England, describes why lucky people tend to share traits that make them luckier than others. This includes the impact of chance opportunities, lucky breaks, and being in the right place at the right time. He says: “My research revealed that lucky people generate good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.” On the flipside he says: “Those who think they’re unlucky should change their outlook and discover how to generate good fortune.”
3. Own Your Success.
At times, you might privately think you can’t go on. You must persist. Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post, says it best: “I failed, many times in my life. One failure that I always remember was when 36 publishers rejected my second book. Many years later, I watched Huff Post come alive to mixed reviews, including some very negative ones, like the reviewer who called the site ‘the equivalent of Gigli, Ishtar, and Heaven’s Gate rolled into one. But my mother used to tell me, failure is not the opposite of success, it’s a stepping stone to success.”
Dear Future, I’m Ready.
Luck isn’t just chance but an alchemy of courage, focus and a willingness to experiment. It’s about declaring to the world ‘dear future, I’m ready’.
As any entrepreneur should know, good sleep is essential to good business.
High-quality sleep sustains the energy levels you need to grow a company. It enhances cognitive function so your brain operates at its best. It helps you recover from grueling days so you don’t burn out . And it’s consistently linked to improved performance and productivity in the workplace.
On the other hand, chronic sleep deprivation degrades your ability to think clearly, make sound decisions, perform at your best, avoid illness, and get things done without running yourself into the ground. Nevertheless, too many entrepreneurs sacrifice sleep in the name of productivity.
So what’s the antidote to this productivity-killing sleep deprivation? One of the best strategies for ensuring you consistently get a good night’s sleep is to create a sleep log. While that might sound like one more thing to add to your already-overwhelming to-do list, the effort pays for itself. Here’s why every entrepreneur should keep a sleep diary–plus how to do it right.
The Benefits of Keeping a Sleep Diary
It holds you accountable to getting enough sleep
If you don’t track how many hours you’ve slept each night, then it’s easy to start cutting back on sleep without even realizing it. Before you know it, you’re catching only four or five hours of shut eye in the pursuit of more working hours. You may be vaguely aware of the fact that you’re feeling awfully tired lately, but you won’t realize the full scope of your sleep deprivation unless you actually count how much time you spend sleeping.
Bottom line? Tracking your sleep lets you quickly identify when you’re not getting enough of it. This gives you the opportunity to course correct before things get dire.
It helps you identify obstacles to quality sleep
Speaking of course correction: Keeping a detailed sleep log enables you to identify the behavioral or environmental patterns that might be interfering with your ability to sleep well each night.
For instance, if you keep track of your caffeine consumption habits along with your sleep quality, you might notice that consuming caffeine after 6 pm consistently disrupts your sleep, while consuming caffeine earlier in the day keeps you in the clear. This allows you to curate your daily habits so they serve your nighttime sleep quality.
It provides valuable info to your doctor (if necessary)
If you tweak your habits to facilitate high-quality sleep but still struggle to fall and stay asleep each night, there’s a chance you’re dealing with a sleep disorder. In that event, having a written record of your sleep habits will be enormously helpful to a medical professional.
Handing over this written log not only saves your doctor time; it may also save you money that would otherwise be spent on diagnostic questions that were already answered by your diary. And if you do start treatment for a sleep disorder, the sleep log will let you keep track of whether the treatment is working.
All told, keeping a sleep diary can help you improve your sleep quality in a number of ways. And that has major ramifications for your cognitive function, learning capacities, energy levels, and productivity.
How to Keep a Sleep Diary
Ready to create a sleep diary? Keep the following guidelines in mind:
- Track how much you slept each night. Write down when you got in bed, how long it took you to fall asleep, when you woke up to start your day, and whether (and why) you woke up at all during the night.
- Track quality in addition to quality. Each morning, rate how well you slept the night before. You can use a simple scale of 1 to 5, with 1 representing poor quality sleep and 5 representing very good quality sleep.
- Track lifestyle factors. What you do during your day can have a major impact on the sleep you get at night. Jot down how much caffeine and alcohol you consumed (and when you consumed it), what and when you ate, if and when you exercised, whether you’re experiencing any emotional stressors, if and when you napped, your daily activities, and any drugs or medication you may have taken.
- Track environmental factors. Note the temperature of your bedroom, the bedding you used, whether the room was dark or light, whether the room was quiet or loud, and so on.
If all that sounds daunting, don’t worry. There are plenty of sleep diary templates available, and they make it easy to track these factors in one place. (Not sure where to start? Give this template from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine a try.)
Keeping a sleep diary is one of the best ways to ensure you’re consistently getting high-quality sleep. And that is one of the best things you can do for yourself when you’re trying to make it big.
How many times have you walked into a restaurant with plenty of free tables, only to have wait while a waiter busily cleared the dishes left behind by departed diners from another table? How many times have you gone up to a check-out counter ready to make a purchase and stood unhelped by a salesperson who was engrossed in reshelving inventory that others had not chosen to take home? How many times have you watched someone field a personal phone call instead of reaching out to a customer in her midst? Undoubtedly, the answer is countless. Why? Because many business owners have either never understood or somehow forgotten, the importance of putting the customer first. I have found that keeping this one idea–that of framing everything my company does in terms of the customer’s needs–at the heart of my business strategy has netted growth at every stage of my business. Here are some simple ways I do so.
Ask employees to handle customers before inventory. Regardless of how messy your shelves may look, how many tables are left uncleared, or how many items need to be restocked, all of those issues will be there long after your customer is gone. Help your customer first, and put every other task behind him in line. You don’t want to let your customer walk out the door empty-handed because you’re engaged in something other than seeing to his needs. You have his attention for as long as he is willing to give it to you, and that depends entirely on how important, valuable, and significant you make him feel.
Instruct staff that, when on the clock, their personal lives take a backseat to the customer’s experience. People seem to blur the lines of personal and professional more and more every day, and when they get caught up in their own interests, they forget everything else around them. Ask employees to put away their phones, table intra-staff conflicts, and silence any unnecessary chatter when customers are within eyesight and earshot. A customer should never be made to feel like a burden, an interruption, or downright uncomfortable when he is visiting your company and considering buying something.
Prioritize a customer who is ready to purchase over everything else. Deciding to purchase is a very emotional experience. It’s when a customer feels most vulnerable because he is about to hand over his money and he wants to know he is giving it to a company that deserves it. Take him in hand quickly, so he feels reassured that he is making the right decision. Whether this means accompanying him to the point of purchase, showing you are ready to take his order immediately, or just asking if he needs help, the important thing is to be alert, attentive, and accommodating.
Customers are precious. They walk through our doors fleetingly, unless we are prepared for their arrival, forthcoming with our help, and devoted to their needs. It is only by peaking their interest, earning their support, and winning their business that we can grow.
Foursquare’s transformation from fun consumer app into serious behind-the-scenes business is taking another step forward.
The location app is rolling out a new platform open to all mobile apps that will allow them get to the front of your smartphone, capturing your attention at the right time and more importantly in the right place through location-based triggering of push notifications and app features.
It’s another step in the evolution of a company that was started more than a decade ago by New Yorker Dennis Crowley (@dens), who wanted to build a mobile app to connect his friends, understanding where they were so they could potentially meet up IRL. Read more…
Marcellus has lived on the streets of Philadelphia for more than four years, and he wants you to know that being homeless isn’t easy.
“It’s, like, waking up hungry. Going to sleep hungry,” he says in a new video, as he fiddles with a small piece of blue plastic in his hands. “But this right here — this got me some food. This got me clothes. This got me a shower and all that.”
It’s not just any piece of plastic. Marcellus is holding a Bluetooth-connected beacon — a small component of an app called StreetChange that could transform how passersby help curb homelessness in their cities.