Who's Your Role Model?

Paul Bowers

Who's Your Role Model?

Recently, I read an article about the steps Pfizer has taken to shape its internal culture. It really caught my attention that the pharmaceutical giant explicitly uses the provocative phrase "no jerks" to convey how management expects employees to behave.

Watching this year's presidential race reminded me of that article. It's actually draining to see how much energy is spent tearing people down, building walls and working against one another...in short, acting like jerks. It seems to me that the candidates would benefit from adopting Pfizer's corporate culture. One might be tempted to ask: If our country's aspiring leaders behave like a bunch of jerks, is that how the rest of us should conduct business? Fortunately, there are other role models.

I'm convinced that the airport industry is more like Pfizer than our current batch of presidential candidates. After working inside this industry for 25 years, I contend that there are certain attitudes and expectations that create minimum standards for how "airport people" conduct business and interpersonal relationships. I'm not saying we're close to sainthood, but there is ample evidence that our industry has a special culture. Perhaps it's the common goal of safety and security that's paramount to everything we do. When you're responsible for passengers' wellbeing, sitting idly on the sidelines is not an option. And airports convey this sense of importance to their consultants and suppliers to create some pretty amazing working relationships.

This issue includes several examples of teaming and learning from previous experiences. Look no further than the Burbank lighting article (Page 48) or Lakeland's airfield information technology initiatives, covered on Page 40, for prime examples. It's amazing how these airports checked their egos at the door to help others in the industry. 

Thanks for reading this special Runway & Ramp issue.

 




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