Saturday, March 23, 2013

"Hands-On" Leadership

It was the trip of a lifetime
by Robert H.

In 1966, a machinists strike had crippled airline travel, mainly in the eastern part of the country, and I had to help solve a problem with one of our suppliers in New York. Space was made available on a company plane in Denver going to Baltimore.

We detoured to Albuquerque, picked up two passengers from Martin Nuclear, then went non-stop to Middle River. The pilot arranged for four of us (George Morgenthaler, two others and me) to share a room at a nearby motel they often used. Further, the pilot said that the plane was going to Orlando the next day, and I should be at the airport early and maybe I could get a detour ride to New York.

Well, it was J. Donald Rauth going to Orlando, and he agreed I could go. But I was surprised that he took over the controls! After takeoff, he flew over a residential area, buzzed what I believe was his house, and then flew to La Guardia. I was further surprised when he taxied to a waiting limo and said, “There’s your car, have a good trip.”

Well, it was a good trip, and I thought “What a wonderful company to work for.” But trying to get back to Denver was another story. Really!