Much has been written about the “Power of Three” going back to Babylon, Norse mythology and continuing to a current day TV series. For me it signifies the third stage or career of my working life, and through all of them, I consider myself fortunate.
My first career was with an airline, Trans World Airlines, aka TWA. I began as a part time reservation agent and learned some critical lessons for the years ahead. The first lesson I learned was persistence. I was told that TWA wasn’t hiring but I brought in my resume/cv and sat in the reception area for hours until the manager gave in and granted me an interview. I left that interview as an employee and spent the next 21 years in reservations, sales, marketing and senior management.
Along the way I learned, through trial and error, how to manage and effectively work with people, and importantly, how to work smarter, and then even more so. I experienced staff cutbacks and learned how to do more with less, first as a necessity and then as good business practice. I used data to engage staff and manage the operation and I learned the greatest lessons of all, by travelling to dozens of countries and meeting and working with the people of the world.
Career two, management consulting, was a continuation of learning, including the realization that most businesses faced similar problems and that management consultants used techniques, usually identified by acronyms, that were sometimes regarded as miracle cures or silver bullets by our clients. Some of these bullets didn’t last long or were used incorrectly, but I had to marvel that they were mostly just labels for all the practical, common sensical things I had been doing all along.
I was fortunate to work with three different management consultancies that delivered practical solutions with defined and promised deliverables, that positively affected both our clients and their people’s satisfaction. During my almost 30 years in the industry, I worked with hundreds of clients in over 30 countries, across dozens of industries, solidifying my belief that all people have more in common with each other than differences, and that all companies, regardless of their industry, are basically the same at their core.
What I hadn’t realized, is that my extensive travelling on airplanes for over 50 years, was preparing me for the third stage in my life. Reading is the only protection against terminal boredom, and thanks to my fellow writers, James Patterson, Tom Clancy and many others, I survived thousands of flights through the distraction afforded by reading their books. And so, when I decided to retire from full time consulting work, I borrowed some of the skills I had learned from the best, to tell a few stories of my own.
My first novel, FINAL NOTICE was written to highlight my concerns with America’s low esteem for the elderly, our approach to gun ownership, the growing prejudice against immigrants, and our broken political system. Happily, it seemed to hit the mark, as attested by a good number of readers, and I was really pleased when a reviewer from a well-respected literary organization likened my writing to Patterson and Clancy. (It’s too bad my accountant doesn’t see the similarities.)
The response has encouraged me write a sequel, which I hope to have out by the end of 2019, and through my efforts to self-publish FINAL NOTICE, I realized that I can use those same publishing skills to produce a non-fiction, management self-help book, based on my management consulting career. I am targeting that by year end, as well.
So, by the end of my third year, of my third career, I hope to have my third book out!