Road Rules – Rule 26

Flight delayed? Catch up with friends.

Who: Jeffrey Christian (, chairman and CEO,
Christian & Timbers
Home base: Cleveland, Ohio
Mileage: 100,000 miles per year
Favorite destination: Catawba Island, in Lake Erie
Don’t leave home without it: Three cell-phones and plenty of batteries


“I spend about 40% of my time on the road, so I’ve reached the point where I expect to run into travel hang ups in one form or another, especially during the holidays. But when I walk into an airport, I have a completely different attitude from that of the disgruntled masses waiting for their flights and fretting about missed connections. That’s because I count on the downtime to chat on the phone with friends and relatives.”

“I’m a call-list fanatic. I always carry business call lists with me when I travel, so why not pack a personal call list as well? Travel delays create a great opportunity for me to catch up with old friends. And it’s a good way to gain perspective. I’m constantly surprised by how refreshed I feel after a brief chat with a friend, no matter how long it’s been since we last talked.”

“If I want to get some exercise, I take off my jacket and tie, slip on my tennis shoes, rent a luggage cart, and walk briskly around the airport for an hour. The weight of the cart helps to make the walk a good cardiovascular workout. Meanwhile, I check my messages, leave voice mails, and talk to friends and family.”

“At first, I was somewhat hesitant to use this time to call friends, simply because I didn’t want to have to end a conversation with a rushed good-bye. But here’s the reality: So much of my time is spent on the road these days that I’ve got to create time to catch up with my life.”