A business guide was the furthest thing from my mind ….
Instead, my husband and I raced down the airport corridor as fast as our heavy bags would allow.
The young Lufthansa airline representative leading us in the charge down the crowded walkway kept casting desperate glances at the stragglers struggling to keep up. Every time he glanced at his watch, more beads of sweat popped up on his stressed face.
Our flight from Melbourne to Hong Kong had been bumpy, rough and delayed. As a consequence, we were late for our connecting flight to Munich.
Our young airline man had collected us at one end of the airport and we had minutes to get to the gate at the other end of the airport or be left behind …
And it wasn’t looking good.
There Were So Many Delays!
There was a delay when two of the group got behind and missed us as we took a right turn. We had to wait while they … now in a panic … reoriented themselves and found us again.
There was a delay at the transit customs. Precious seconds ticked away as the officials made the last lady in the group unload her suitcase, rifled through her personal hygiene items and made her get rid of her small nail file.
There was a delay as we waited for the lift and anxious moments when we had to skirt our way carefully around other travellers meandering their casual way through the airport.
All during this mad race, the young airline representative’s phone kept ringing … I presume to ask him where we were and what was taking so long.
His phone rang again and he answered it. Whatever their message had been, it couldn’t have been good, because his shoulders sagged.
But he determinedly kept us going towards the gate. … only to turn away in embarrassed despair as the gate attendants let him know in no uncertain terms that it was too late.
They’d just off-loaded our baggage and closed the flight.
Never Give Up
But this young lad, who didn’t look like he was much older than 20, wasn’t giving up. What he did next made me think he was the ideal business guide … and someone who was really making a difference for his organisation’s customers (me).
He consulted quietly with a colleague, then herded us all the way back through the airport to where we’d started our race against the clock.
Sitting us down in a quiet lounge, he personally took responsibility … person by person … for reorganizing our travel arrangements. As the travel desk rebooked each person’s flight on whatever plane was available, he would hand out the new travel instructions and boarding passes.
He was the ultimate business guide at that particular moment.
My husband and I gratefully headed off to the new gate … only to discover that the information we’d been given didn’t match what was up on the board at the gate.
In confusion, I went hunting for a departures screen. While scanning it, a grizzled older man standing next to me asked “Hamburg”? (which was our final destination).
For some reason, instead of saying “yes”, I said “ja”. I know just enough German to get myself into trouble and saying “ja” was just asking for a response in German.
Which I got … in torrents.
I got the bit about how frustrating and annoying it was to to have to rebook our travel arrangements.
I got the bit about lots of people being affected … and then I lost it. My brain stopped translating.
At that point, all I could do was nod and say “ja” every time he paused for breath. Which got me safely through a few more sentences, until suddenly I realized that he’d asked me a question and I had no clue what he was asking about ….
Pretending that everything is okay when it’s not can get you into deep do-do. Like me nodding my head as if I could understand everything that old man was saying to me in rapid-fire German.
Sometimes things go really wrong in our businesses. We run and run to catch our ride … our big wave that’s going to get us the revenue, the public notice, the customers we’ve been looking for.
And through circumstances outside of our control, we simply miss the boat … or the plane … or the train, as it were. And we just keep pretending everything’s okay.
What we really need is a business guide who can help us go right back to basics and find the right path again.
Having A Business Guide Increases Your Chance Of Success
There were two things that eventually helped my husband and I arrive successfully at our final destination.
The first thing was that just talking to someone ABOUT the mess made a big difference.
But it needs to be someone who speaks your “language” … like the young airline guide. Not like me saying “ja”, which made that poor old man think I could speak German fluently!
It needs to be someone who deeply understands the business implications of what you’re going through. Someone who just sees things in a way you can’t and can be your guide.
Our young airline representative worked extremely hard to ensure our missed connection problem was dealt with in a way that moved us towards our destination. He was our guide through the airport and he sorted out the mess for us.
The second thing was that we had to accept that our original plans of arriving in Hamburg via Munich weren’t going to work. We did get there, in the end. But it was several hours later and via another city.
What mattered was that we got there.
Sometimes, when everything is going wrong, you need someone like that dedicated young airline representative. Someone who can help you sort through the mess and come up with another way of getting where you want to go.
Would You Like Me To Help?
If you’ve been thinking about getting a business guide or mentor or you’d just like to talk through the issues you’re currently facing in your business, click here to send me an email and we will set up a time to chat.
Image Credits: Alexas Fotos and Pixabay