Travels with Eddie
First of all, virtually no one calls me "Eddie." I will answer
to "Ed," "Hey, You!," "Jake," or almost anything (and I have been called
many things). I have two elderly aunts, both very dear and in their eighties,
who can call me "Eddie." I have a good friend named John who sometimes
calls me "Eddie" in a lighthearted and fun way. John can call me "Eddie."
The rest of you, watch it!
Actually, I'm just kidding. "I don't care what you call me,
A QUICK MEETING ...
A big (too big) part of my corporate life has been spent in meetings.
Especially ones that are only being held for the sake of being able to
say later that, "Well, we had a meeting about that ..." Excessive time
wasting makes me crazy. I believe that if you make a decision today, instead
of after a month of meetings, you reap any benefit of the action immediately,
can judge the effectiveness quickly and modify the strategy if it isn't
working. I don't like wasting time. So ...
When I worked for Sony we periodically would meet in Tokyo, Japan
with our colleagues there to hash out strategies for the business, marketplace
and product development. The usual trip would be about three days plus
travel time. It takes about 14 hours flight time from NYC to Tokyo. Plus
travel to the airport and pre-flight in New York (leave about 3 hours)
and travel to the hotel in Japan (leave about 3 hours), plus the same on
the way back. The cost of the flight was about $2,500 and the cost of a
hotel stay (meals etc.) in Tokyo added about another $1,500. As you might
imagine, this is not an expense that one incurs lightly. But, in 1990,
amidst great upheaval in the company and the marketplace, I and three other
colleagues actuall flew to Tokyo and back for 6 hours of meetings. That's
right. 46 hours of travel per-person, $16,000 of expenses and about 4 man-weeks
of lost time (love that jet lag) to have 2 meetings totalling about 6 hours.
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