call your mom

call youu mom CNN reports that emergency officials are responding to a downed US Airways plane in New York's Hudson River. (update: Happily everyone survived.)

Call your mother. She doesn't know where you are.

Back in the early 80s, I worked for a great guy, Rob Porter, who was truly one of the best managers I ever had. He had a rule: if there's ever a problem in the news, particularly if it's travel-related, always call your family to let them know that you're safe.

Rob called me into his office one day to complain about my expenses. I was terribly anxious because I had been very careful with expenses, watching every penny. "You don't call your wife often enough," he complained. "You need to call her once a day at least. After all, she is raising two kids without you whenever you're traveling. And what is your mom's phone number?" he asked. I told him and he was truly annoyed. "You haven't called your mother in a month? What the heck is wrong with you?" In his view, the corporate phone plan--(before cell phones of course)--was as much for personal reasons, to make sure everything was okay at home, as well as for business. Part of the job is traveling; sure it is. But that means that a spouse, a parent, or a child is wondering where you are and if you're safe.

Our families know that we travel. And today, particularly with cell phones, it's doubtful that they have any idea where we are. Always call home after a travel-related disaster.

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.

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