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, just call!"


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. Go figure.

Click here to go backon The Mullen's Home Page

Copyright 1997, Edmund J. Mullen