This week, I was in Brussels for a couple of days facilitating for a brand new team of highly skilled executives. They came together extremely well and by the end of it, felt like they had been a team for a long time – which is always wonderful whenever that happens.

But before any of that took place, I had to get to Brussels. In what is becoming an increasingly common scenario, I was unable to collect the train tickets I had ordered online at my local station due to the fact that firstly, both ticket machines were out of service. No worries, I thought. I can collect them from the person behind the counter at the main ticket desk. This proved to be impossible because there was no one there and the door was locked.

This has happened before as I hinted earlier, so I knew that as long as I had my booking reference number, I could simply show this to the conductor on the train. Amazingly, there was no ticket inspection throughout the entire journey to London. Upon arriving at Victoria station, I headed for the ticket booth that can give you your ticket if you can prove you’ve paid for it but alas, this was closed also!

Someone advised me to go to the other end of the station and collect the tickets from there. Eventually, I realised I could use one of the several ticket machines and get them in the same way that I would have done at the beginning of the journey.

Once on board the flight to Brussels, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the plane was barely half full. Then came the most unique announcement over the PA system.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Captain speaking. Welcome to flight BA396. This is almost certainly going to be the most original announcement you will have heard but I am afraid to advise you that we are going to experience some delay due to the fact that the pilot’s seat – my seat – has broken!”

A ripple of incredulous laughter swept through the plane, as the pilot himself walked down the aisle, speaking personally with anyone who wanted to hear more. Refreshments were made available and we eventually took off about an hour later, once a replacement seat for the pilot had been successfully installed.

The next day, one of the first things I got the new team to do (once I had divided them into two competing teams) was to take the following materials: string, scissors, pens, newspaper, sellotape, glue, balloons and one fresh egg. After less than an hour of intense creativity and construction, they then dropped the egg from a great height. The object of the game of course, is to protect the egg as much as possible.

Egg parachutes

Both teams succeeded. Both teams were very happy with their endeavours and outcomes.

Life is a journey, often fraught with all kinds of obstacles and delays, and even a few scary moments.

What could you do differently to positively enhance the experience even more?



Paul Hatcher

I am at heart, a communicator. I love to use words, whether written or spoken and maximise those words to hopefully, bring some encouragement - literally, to put courage into the hearts & minds of those who read or hear them. In my work as an executive coach, speaker, workshop facilitator, I love also to listen...deeply, and then respond with some encouragement.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *