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Fly the Family Skies

Who

Magnus Hansson (magnus@hansson.to), 35, new-business creator at Södertälje, Sweden-based Ymer Advertising and president of 114, an independent advertising network with 88 agencies worldwide

Enough Already

For Hansson, business travel is more stressful without his 5-year-old daughter. The single dad, who racks up about 175,000 flier miles a year, can’t stand being away from little Isabelle. Separation anxiety? No. Hansson is just a father who misses his daughter.

Red Flag

About two years ago, Hansson was away for almost three weeks straight. “On the flight home, I realized that without my girl, I was tired, unhappy, and much less effective at my job. And then I thought, From now on, she’s coming along.”

Coping Mechanism

Now Isabelle does comes along — on roughly 7 out of every 10 trips. The arrangement requires planning, of course. Whenever possible, Hansson requests conference rooms with glass walls or doors, so that Isabelle can play quietly in the next room and see her dad at all times. “As long as she can see or hear me,” he says, “everything is fine.” When critical meetings come up that don’t meet that criteria, Hansson finds a playmate for Isabelle, often recruiting kids of meeting attendees. How does he pull it all off? He’s frank about his intentions and makes no apologies to his colleagues. “I explain that Isabelle will be joining us,” he says. Naturally, the news raises a few eyebrows, but the suspicion never lasts. “After 10 minutes with Isabelle, people adore her. It’s like they don’t even care about me.” For now, it looks like Hansson can manage the father-daughter traveling act. But when Isabelle starts school, he plans to ease up on traveling and “get back to a more normal, Mr. Smith life.”FCS