Ladies and gentlemen, please buckle your seat belt. The plane will be taking off momentarily. Unassuming words from the airline staff, which evokes a series of emotions: relief (you’ve made the flight) or angst (you are only hours away from the next presentation, demonstration, or event).

How did you leave your office when you boarded the plane?

Merriam-Webster defines preparation as “to make yourself ready for something that you will be doing.” In business and in our personal lives, we all try to prepare our calendars for upcoming travel.

However, unexpected meetings that require us to fly will occasionally appear on our calendars at times. If we are prepared, we can manage those as well.

So, what is the number one preparation tool?

I believe that it is communication. Let your team members and clients know about your upcoming travel.

Once you have communicated and discussed your upcoming travel, anticipate the responses and needs of your team and your clients. You have invested time and money into training your team and countless hours working with clients.

As a skilled listener, you should be able to anticipate their needs before you swap your office chair for that luxurious, spacious plane seat (Ok, back to reality, the Polaris section is full!).  

Designate team members to clients and vice versa. Share email addresses and phone numbers. Allow and support your team to help them to succeed.

Lastly, and most importantly, appreciate the journey.

Appreciate the team that took the reins and led the charge in your absence. Appreciate each and every client, not only for their loyalty, but for their friendship, trust, and willingness to work with your team in your absence.

If you are lucky enough to buckle that seatbelt for personal adventure, enjoy the journey! Be refreshed, be renewed, and be grateful that you have such a brilliant team.

Ensure that the office will run flawless in your absence. Be brilliant while away on business, or better yet, really enjoy, and I mean REALLY enjoy, that personal time away from the office.