Sit back, relax and enjoy the flight

38,000 feet in the air, watching the snow-capped mountains through the window: I am on my way home for a short time, coming back from a business meeting in another part of the continent, in the middle of other beautiful mountains. The captain invited us, passengers, to just do that: sit back, relax and enjoy the flight. That is easy for him to say… My smartphone is full of reminders, with nice alarms, a growing to-do list and ever-incoming emails. So far, everything looks quite normal. There is only one little difference I quite love about next month though: I get to move for a work project in the mountains.

Flight over Seattle

Flight over Seattle

The idea is rather exciting, and I cannot wait to kick this one off. The planning of the move is fairly similar to my last temporary expatriation to London for the 2012 Summer Games, and the logistics around it is another test to the composure I get to remind (and teach) my martial arts students day in, day out. That exercise calls for some deep breathing, and I know everything will be fine. There is a lot of work to be done, before and after the move, and dealing with timelines and deadlines has become a bit of a game, an enjoyable one. Starting from the targeted end result and going backward while injecting last-minute, and often unexpected, elements to the puzzle comes down to what the captain suggested: to relax.

Been there, done that? Yes! And every project is still different, be it around some visa questions, tax concerns, getting to know a new team and their reliability, or simply adjusting to a new altitude and culture. This time, language is taken care of: unpredictable weather conditions, however, will invite themselves to the ride, and the “sitting back” part will be put aside until Mother Nature allows the team to perform and comply to the contract’s deliverables. Plain and simple, and one of my responsibilities is to match the theory to reality, with tools I will learn about closer to the event: basic and typical in the industry.

Now comes the time to purge, store and pack my own stuff, and repeat the exact same routine with equipment, FF&E and the rest that is required for the event to be successful. Going back to the basics of logistics, drilling the supply chain milestones, coordinating the procurement of negotiated agreements and managing the shipping and delivery of the goods and services: hello Dear Project, let us chat and iron all the questions out! Remember what the Captain said: sit back, relax, and I will take care of the flight this time.