The April 2014 issue of INC. magazine lists 35 questions, from different sources, that business people should ask themselves. Do the questions apply to airports? Well, your airport is a business, isn’t it?

Here are a few that I found particularly interesting:

“What should we stop doing?”

Peter Drucker.

If you don’t know who the late, great Peter Drucker was (he died in 2005), put down this magazine and look him up.

What indeed are you doing at your airport that you should stop doing? I don’t know, but then I’m not running your airport. Under CEO Jack Welch, General Electric, you might remember, decided that they should stop competing in industries in which they couldn’t compete near the top of the heap. It worked for GE.

“What counts that we aren’t counting?”

Chip Conley, Joie de Vivre and Global Hospitality

I’m not familiar with Mr. Conley, but what a great question! In my current Airport Business blog (, I discuss the difficulty of airports keeping in touch with their passengers/customers. I will never forget the time an airport staff person told me that airlines, not passengers, were their customers. That’s true, but passengers are also their customers and they do count—big time.

“Are we paying enough attention to the partners our company depends upon...”

Ron Adner, author, professor, Tuck School of Business

Here’s a question that definitely applies to airports. Just replace the word partners with the word “vendors” and it all makes sense. There’s a reason many airports are now working more closely with vendors and even training them in some ways. Those vendors see, serve and talk with your passenger customers every day, and you really do depend on them to make your airport comfortable and pleasant.

“Are we changing as fast as the world around us?”

Gary Hamel, author and management consultant

Airports do seem to be keeping up very well, but we’re facing unimaginable changes in everything. There’s an article in AW&ST this week that wonders if SpaceX really can “unleash space solar power” by harnessing sunlight energy and sending it to Earth via a microwave beam! I surely don’t know, but do know that Fortune named Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, Business Person of the Year in 2013. As the song says, “better get ready.”

About the Author

Ralph Hood | Certified Speaking Professional

Ralph Hood is a Certified Speaking Professional who has addressed aviation groups throughout North America. A pilot since 1969, he's insured and sold airplanes at retail and distributor levels and taught aviation management for Southern Illinois University.

Ralph Hood is also an award-winning columnist (he writes for several publications), a salesman and sales manager (he sold airplanes, for crying out loud!), a teacher (he taught college-level aviation management) and a professional public speaker who has entertained and enlightened audiences from Hawaii to Spain, and from Fairbanks to Puerto Rico.

  • Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), National Speakers Association
  • Past member, National Ethics Committee, National Speakers Association
  • Past president of Alabama Speakers Association
  • Member, Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame
  • Past National Marketing Mentor, AOPA Project Pilot