Take control of your own baggage

Simon Moutter the Auckland Airport chief executive said this afternoon that lots of little things have made a difference to the airport visitor experience. Historically, the airlines managed which baggage conveyor belt in the baggage claim area their flights used, through a schedule prepared a month out. Of course, planes don’t always arrive on time and passengers can get frustrated when bags take forever to appear, especially when there are unused baggage claim areas. So Auckland Airport gave the control of which baggage claim area is used to the folk that run the baggage system. Seems pretty simply really. Why weren’t they doing that before Simon wondered?

What baggage are you carrying around that you think someone else is going to sort out for you? Leadership starts from the inside – knowing how we’re wired, how we interact with others and empowering and mentoring others to do what needs to be done.

But leadership is also about taking responsibility for our own baggage. You know, those issues, whether work or personal that we all carry around – sometimes it’s like a small backpack, other times it’s more like a 32kg suitcase.  And we often do it with an unspoken expectation that someone else will sort it out. Which they won’t of course.

So, like the airport which worked out that trying to have someone else sort out their baggage from on high didn’t work, we would all do well to take stock of what baggage we are carrying around.

The unresolved conflict, the medical check up, the fitness programme, the important (but not yet urgent) project that we haven’t got onto. Whether we’re conscious of it or not, all these things drag us down like baggage.

So take some time out this weekend and clear your baggage. No-one else will.

Then enjoy the lightness!

View Stephen Drain's profile on LinkedIn


3 thoughts on “Take control of your own baggage

  1. Lean operations!
    refer to the ‘monkey-ladder’ example

    8 monkeys are in a room. There is a ladder in the room, and at the top of the ladder is a bunch of bananas. The monkeys are fed adequate but unappetizing food.

    For the first week, any time a monkey climbs the ladder, a nozzle drenches all the monkeys in icy cold water. Soon, any time a monkey starts to climb the ladder, all the other monkeys beat him senseless to avoid being punished.

    One monkey is removed, and another takes his place. Not knowing about the ice water punishment, he approaches the ladder. All the other monkeys beat him senseless. Every time he gets near the ladder, they all gang up on him.

    A second monkey is replaced. Same thing. The first replacement monkey joins in the beating.

    A third is replaced. A fourth. Eventually all the original monkeys are replaced. The new 8 monkeys have never experienced the ice water punishment, yet any time any of them approaches the ladder, the rest of them gang up on him and beat him senseless.

    How many times have we heard in the office ” I did it that way because that’s how it was always done”……


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s