Business succession planners are by nature “roadies.” Succession planners are unique individuals with a diverse set of financial, investment, legal, accounting, coaching, mentoring and psychological skills that are offered in a way that is unique to each planner and compatible to a certain segment of clients. Due to the unique nature of the service and the clients, engagements are often at a distance. Therefore, travel is a fundamental part of the gig. Unfortunately traveling involves challenges which can be as demanding as my day job. Dealing with these challenges is eloquently summed up in the words of Crosby Stills and Nash: “We who are on the road, have a code that we must live by…”

A fundamental instinctively understood, but undocumented, “code of the road” is Charlotte’s Rules. In order to work with clients in distant, commonly unique locations and maintain sufficient emotional reserves to lead them through the Succession Matrixsm, we must accept Charlotte’s Rules and not over react to travel challenges. To be resilient we must accept the reality of Charlotte’s Rules and recognize that when we are doing business through the Charlotte Airport we are caught up in something that is beyond our control. We must evolve into a clearer, fate acompli’ form of thinking, conclude with a confidence of higher understanding that we are not to resist or rebel; just accept and endure the dilemma until we are clear of Charlotte and are ready to reassume our purpose in life. If you have been anywhere around the Charlotte Airport I am sure you have felt the impact of this bizarre force, circumstance or situation so allow me to share with you some of Charlotte’s Rules which can enlighten you to what is happening and facilitate your journey:

  • Your commuter flight to Charlotte will land as far away from the commuter terminal as possible and having no taxi priority over the big jets will predictably reach the arrival gate late.
  • Your arrival gate will be occupied or attendants will be occupied elsewhere requiring the Captain to thank you for patience that you don’t have and make you even later.
  • Gate agents will be preoccupied and not be accessible to inform you of the status of your connecting flight because they are all more concerned about their loss of seniority in the latest merger.
  • Having arrived in the commuter terminal your connecting flight will be terminals B or A which means that unless you are in outstanding condition and versed in Roller Derby dodging you don’t have a prayer getting to your connecting flight on time.
  • When your flight is late arriving in Charlotte, your connecting flight will always leave on time, predictably without you because standbys have a higher priority than anyone who gets to the gate less than ten minutes before departure.
  • If per chance you do make your flight, your bag will have to be checked so when you arrive at your destination it will take you another half hour to forty-five minutes to matriculate the airport.
  • If you happen to luck out and get to your gate prior to boarding you must prepare to stand with no hope for a chair or power plug in a massive crowd constantly buffeted by crossing pedestrians due to limited space further exasperated by construction.
  • While working to endure the competition of the quasi mob you will be in line behind someone who has never flown before, with a massive bag, who was bumped from the prior flight and is on the verge of going ballistic, requiring security and making your flight even later.
  • And if you happen to need assistance from the gate agent you will acknowledge that Andy of Mayberry did not leave the building with Elvis. In fact your patience will be formidably challenged as the agent appears to carry on multiple socially intriguing conversations with colleagues while telling you, “I’ll be with you directly.”
  • As you struggle to maintain your composure you recognize that “directly” does not mean shortly, in a moment or soon; it means directly which no one can really define.

Of course these are not all of Charlotte’s Rules, because these rules are evolving as Andy of Mayberry reconciles his reduced seniority and “directly” innovates intriguing processes and procedures for managing an airport that is operating significantly above design capacity. My challenge, your challenge and that of all our roadie colleagues is to recognize the reality of Charlotte’s Rules and keep our cool. Moreover, we should recognize the metaphor of Charlotte’s Rules as it applies to many circumstances we encounter that are beyond our control.

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