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Is It Worth It?

January 28, 2015

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Ten thousand three hundred and seventeen, in three weeks.

At 550 MPH, that’s over eighteen hours in the air. And that’s how many miles in how many days I will have been traveling during the month of January. Is it worth it?

We launched two new lines of business in Richmond.

We cut the ribbon on our call center in Kentucky.

I’ll be back in the air next month traveling to San Antonio and then back to Kentucky for another line of business launch.

Why?

Well, sure it’s my job, but what benefits do you get from traveling? It’s a pain. Rs inconvenient. It’s uncomfortable.

But. . .

There are benefits. For example, on a recent trip back from Virginia as I was walking out of the economy captain, a man was walking out of the first class cabin who looked a lot like our company president. As we waited by the baggage claim I approached him,

Is your name Dell?

Yes it is.

I’m Rodney Bliss.

Oh Rodney, nice to actually meet you in person. You’re coming back from Richmond?

Yeah, from the launch this week.

I read your emails. That was a bit of a mess.

And in two minutes I was able to explain how our launch had messed up and what my team did to fix it.

It was a unique opportunity to be one on one with one of the most influential men in our company and explain a mistake. That’s an opportunity I would never have had if I didn’t travel.

Hey Rodney, do you want a beer?

No thanks, Tracy, I don’t drink.

Tracy was a senior VP. We were all in San Antonio preparing for a QBR, or Quarterly Business Review. In addition to Tracy, there were two presidents and two other VPs around the table. In addition to a Senior director and two directors. And then there was me. Our prep was half business meeting, half frat house pizza party.

I would not have been invited to this type of a meeting if we weren’t traveling.

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When I took this job, my boss said the travel would be about 5%. My boss is really bad at math. But, the travel has given me the opportunity to quickly establish relationships. Not just with the senior executives, because I don’t actually interact with them much. But, I have the opportunity to work directly with a wide variety of people; call center managers, on phone agents, desktop support engineers, and clients.

Relationships that. Would take months to build otherwise can be built over a shared dinner in San Antonio, or Dallas, or Chicago, or Louisville, or Salt Lake City.

Travel as much as you can. . .it’s worth it.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and one grandchild.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/rbliss)
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

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