Posted on June 29, 2014


I am not aware of any other industry that plans for key members to be gone for months or a year at a time. “Oh, the CEO is going out of touch for the next 6 months. Guess we will just keep trucking; the underlings will pick up the slack.”

That, though, is the situation I find myself in. For the record, my boss is not the CEO, and I have never heard anyone refer to me as an underling, though that title might be deserved. My boss a 20 year veteran of AIM Air and the only remaining manager in the maintenance dept who has been here longer than 2 years. And he just left for 4 months.

Myself and another newer guy, Tom, are picking up the administrative slack and adapting to our newly modified Caravan, that went from a 675 horse power engine to 850 horsepower. (For the less technical read: “Binford 3000 More Power, ugh, ugh.”) But as all new things, it comes with challenges and kinks to work out. At the top of the list is a temperature issue that has the potential to make things all melty inside the engine if not handled with kid gloves. As you might imagine that makes us all feel kind of melty inside. We believe we have identified the problem in the engine and are working to resolve it without spending $20,000—as we initially thought might be required.

I say this because I have found the current added responsibilties both overwhelming and actually quite a powerful focusing tool. As the pressure of added responsibility builds, I find myself becoming calmer, in a desperate sort of way. In a rather frantic pursuit of planning and preparedness, I’ve removed as many distractions as possible so that I can do what must be done, well.

In this desperate attempt to not simply be reactive to all the demands on my attention, I’ve started getting up earlier. I need the extra time to figure out what is important, to plan, so that I am not playing catch-up for the rest of the day. It occurs to me that this might be revolutionary in my life outside of work as well.

Distraction is my enemy. I’m often looking to restore my sense of wellbeing and control: trolling facebook, or reading endless articles until I reach the very edges of the internet. Ironically, these things that I look to make me feel rested are actually robing me of my rest. They take up the time I could have used for intentional time with my family or reading a challenging book.

All this distraction time is really eating into my time to be the man that I want to be.


No one else may send their senior staff on 6 month fundraising ventures, and I still am not sure it is ideal, but it certainly forces allows me to grow, and for that at least I am grateful.

Posted in: Africa, Aviation, John