Byron's Babbles

The Power of Delay

Posted in Coaching, Leadership by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on February 22, 2013

85187I love it when an event happens that gives me a great inspiration for blogging! Yesterday my flight home from Fort Lauderdale, Florida was delayed because of a sensor problem. Really, it turned in to more than a delay. Let me start with this, however, ATA handled the situation perfectly and were great! We were deplaned because it was going to take 45 minutes to do the repair and they had to shut everything off on the plane and they were afraid we would get to hot (it was 85 degrees out and today I am back home to ice and closed my school today!).

Then they had us get back on the plane, only to find out we were to get our luggage and get off the plane because they did not have the needed part to make the repair. Now, let me make this perfectly clear – I am happy to have my day interrupted for a delay of this nature! I am not ready to die yet, so I want everything possible done to avert a plane crash!

Let me tell you this caused quite a stir. The old man across the aisle from me yelled, and I quote, “This is f#@%in’ bulls#$t, ATA can’t get their act together!” I’m not sure what he was talking about because, again, I want to be safe. Also, I thought it was genius to put us back on the plane to get our carry-on baggage in an organized fashion. Now, I fly ATA to Florida twice a month and think they have their act together.

Anyway, as a guy who views every challenge as an opportunity I had fun with this whole ordeal by saying things like, “I’m cool with this because I think this plane crashing would cause a greater inconvenience to my evening than the delay.” Even though I am positive there are probably some out there who would have been cool with me going down with the plane.

Of course the guy on the aisle next to me said, “Obviously you have nothing going on, but I need to get home for a dinner with friends tonight.” I thought, “REALLY!” I have to change two interviews I had scheduled for the evening, I won’t get to go to our basketball team’s last game, or pick my son up from school!” NOPE, I’ve got nothing going on. BUT, I didn’t say anything!

In these situations I am reminded what an awesome God I serve. He could change or keep anything from happening, but he chooses to let life happen. This truly shows the extent of his power. Anyone else would want to take control, then there would be no need for faith.

Anyway, in continuing to make the best of the situation when we finally got to board our new plane that would take us all home, I began to visit with the flight attendant. She shared how bad everyone was treating her. I said, “It’s out of your control, but let’s have some fun!” Because I always pick the next to last row to sit, I said, “I’ll help you get the back rows in a good mood.”

People got on the plane, some complaining, and I told our back rows, “I have arranged for you all to get free drinks.” Of course I really did not need to arrange for that because the flight attendant can do this if there is a mechanical delay, but they did not know that – AND, of course the flight attendant took care of this! Needless to say, my new friends had a stress free flight home!

Here’s the best part of the story, though. I made a comment that I really didn’t even think about whether anybody even heard, or least of which paid attention to. Here’s what I said: “You know folks, here’s the deal: there will be a reason for each one of us as to why this plane was delayed for two and a half hours. It will be different for each one of us and we may never know the reason, there will be a reason!”

So, here’s the reason why it was delayed form me (I think): As I was leaving the airport the woman sitting in the row behind me approached me and told me she needed to tell me something. I thought, “Great, this woman’s going to tell me how annoying I was.” Because, really I was. No, not the case, however! She said, “I just want you to know that ‘YOU’ were the reason the plane was delayed for me.” She went on to say, “I always get very upset in these situations and you taught and modeled for me how to find the opportunity in the challenge and not worry about the things I cannot control.” She also saw that I had given the flight attendant an “I’m REMARKABLE” bracelet and told her how well she had handled the situation. I thanked her and also gave her an “I’m REMARKABLE” bracelet and explained that the bracelets are from my good friend Kevin Eikenberry of The Kevin Eikenberry Group. I told her that both he and I believe every person is REMARKABLE and must remember this every day and find ways to improve our own lives, and more importantly, the lives of those around us. This is my mission as a servant leader.photo

I bid the woman goodbye by telling her it was obvious that “SHE” was the reason the plane was delayed for me!

I wrote last year about traveling like Flat Stanley (click here to read the post). We must remember to travel like Flat Stanley and enjoy every moment, whatever happens!

Don’t forget- View every challenge, obstacle, or delay as an opportunity! And, always remember the words of my friend Kevin Eikenberry: “YOU ARE REMARKABLE”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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