Four Roundtrips in one week?
Yep. And I came away with at least on travel tale to tell.
Most of the time I want my flights to be uneventful, but this was a good kinda flying event. I got onto a puddle jumper from Portland to Seattle (my third round trip of the week) and the flight attendant mentioned to someone that it was just her second day on the job. Her trainer got on next and started to help her get organized. After that another guy got on that I recognized from somewhere – but I could not place him. It looked like he was going to get into the jump seat in the cockpit. I realized that the was the CEO and President of the airline (Horizon Air) and was taking this flight back to his home in Seattle. Can you imagine being on your second day on the job and having the CEO show up on your flight? He was very gracious though, and in fact I overheard him tell a story of how he had dumped a salad all over a businessman in first class early on in his career.
This got me to thinking about the power that a CEO has whenever he/she at work. I think of it like this: if you were to run into a celebrity on the street, say Tom Cruise, you might be star struck, perhaps asking for an autograph or something. But you would not really worry about your actions in front of the celebrity – it’s not like they could fire you or ruin your life. If you ran into your CEO while on the job though, it is like that celebrity magnified. You would probably not want to appear stupid in front of him/her at a minimum, and might even do your best to ingratiate yourself to the CEO. This is the constant environment for most CEO’s while on the job (except when they are facing the press and their board when the tables are turned). It is no wonder so many CEO’s have huge egos. In fact, it is amazing that there are some that manage to act like normal human beings. Imagine walking through the doors to your office/workplace and having everyone try to cater to your needs, please you in some way, or compliment you on your work. Hard to have that not go to your head.
Not that it would be an easy job- it just must be difficult to keep any sort of rational perspective.