Practice What You Preach

March 5, 2015
Reinforcing those messages through action makes the difference.

Messaging matters. For businesses it guides the actions of workers and demonstrates for customers and stakeholders the organizational commitment to quality products or services. In my visits to repair stations, I see them saying the right things – often in big, unmistakable ways on signs, placards and instructions.

It starts with reminding technicians to take care of themselves:

Helping them avoid barriers to success:

And ensuring nobody forgets why it all matters:

Putting something on the wall, in a handbook or in marketing materials is a great start, but reinforcing those messages through action makes the difference. When staff and management work together to find ways to put principle into practice, the message becomes observable truth. At the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), we recently took a bit of our own advice.

We regularly encourage our association members to have elected officials (or even candidates) visit their facilities. In the sometimes contentious and always aggressive battle for attention and resources from Washington or state lawmakers, nobody can demonstrate a business’s value to the local economy and culture than the men and women who work there every day (being voting constituents has a funny way of putting weight behind your message).

On March 2, U.S. Representative Don Beyer (D-Va.) shook hands with our team and sat in our conference room. We posed for some photos and talked about the issues that matter most to our business (don’t worry; we also shared an awful lot about the people we represent).

Basically, we did what we tell our members and clients to do. Here in Washington, those of us who spend our lives serving the aviation maintenance industry are all talking about FAA reauthorization. We have priorities lists, talking points and strategies for making sure that repair stations are well-represented in whatever “transformative” bill finally makes it to the president’s desk.

Centralized effort in the nation’s capital is important, but it must be complemented by grassroots and grasstops engagement from every aviation business in every congressional district. We practiced what we preach because it made sense for us to build a strong relationship with the person representing our issues in Congress. It makes sense for you to do the same.

Want to get an elected official to your facility? We can help. Visit and contact our legislative team. Not an ARSA member? Call us anyway (703-739-9543) – we can work on that, too.

Brett Levanto is the Director of Operations at Obadal, Filler, MacLeod and Klein, the Virginia-based law firm that manages both the Aeronautical Repair Station Association and the Aviation Technician Education Council. Visit the global aviation maintenance industry’s information portal at