Originally published as a blog for AINsight for Aviation International News on 1/5/24
First and foremost, I want to wish you and your families a Happy Healthy New Year! We can now officially stop guessing about potential headwinds for 2024 and begin the actual business of the new year. Headwinds are always there, year after year, and always a bit unpredictable. The economy, the election year woes, the geopolitical events, and on and on. Everybody writes about those. I thought it would be more productive to talk about why we should be positive about the year past, the one ahead, and shout hooray and how we can collectively keep that sentiment up.
I can speak to a successful 2023 that most of you reading this can agree to as well. Sure, for many, the number of transactions may have been down a bit from previous years but dissecting that statement may seem contrary to the facts of 2023. After all, inventory was up, so there were more choices for buyers. Prices began to soften a bit from pandemic highs, so there was more incentive to not sit on the fence. So, the supply side of our industry had a positive spin to it.
Of course, we all continued to feel and suffer from the supply side of deliverables. Longer lead times for goods and inspection slots were real and may still plague us into this next year. We began to learn how to not feel as impacted by the difficulty of finding inspection slots as we had in 2022 and some of 2023. At our company, we did not get any better at taking NO for an answer. We just got more focused on thinking outside the box about locations available to inspect. All the major and independent maintenance facilities added square footage to inspect and worked diligently to increase labor resources and even move those resources around to their different facilities to keep opportunities opening more frequently.
From our perspective although transactions never seem to get easier, they do bring about better outcomes when the frenzy of the transaction tempers down a bit. I had the privilege to speak at several industry events and took the time at each one to talk with more participants than usual. Everyone I spoke with said hooray as they recounted the year just past. They all felt a need to list many of the successes they enjoyed and how they took from each one a bit more wisdom to bring to the next one.
After all, wisdom and passion are what we have to pull forward to the next transaction or customer interaction. These two hallmarks of success shape each one of us. Believe me, your customers and coworkers recognize these traits and will strive to align themselves with you while they work to find ways to achieve success together.
It seems that regardless of the headwind it is the tailwind that more accurately impacts what goes on for each of us. So now, let’s go back to the title of this article. Regardless of whether you are really shouting hooray or just carrying a smile and swagger in your step, the sentiment shows and is infectious. People come to know you for that attitude. 2024 is each of ours year. It is ours to grab and hold on to. It is our best line of defense for a headwind. It reminds me of going for a walk on a windy day. Walk in one direction and you encounter headwinds but turn the corner and you get the boost from a tailwind. It comes down to direction. Constantly walking through headwinds can be exhausting. After a while, turn around and enjoy the boost.
I look forward to seeing and talking to many of you and changing directions often to capture the wind! Hooray!