Scheduling Conflict

Aug 06, 2021


What takes precedence over hurdling to the edge of space with 3 others making history? Let’s explore tips for resolving calendar conflicts.

When we buy tickets for an event, whether we are planning to attend a concert or take a plane flight, we are fairly committed to using the tickets-- especially if it is something we are eagerly anticipating. We feel even more obligated if we spend a lot of money. What would you do if you had a scheduling conflict after paying almost $30M for a trip to space? What would you prioritize above sitting next to Jeff Bezos and traveling 62 miles off-planet to enjoy 3 to 4 minutes of weightlessness and a view of the most beautiful world in the solar system? …Assuming you had the guts to go!

Just in case you can’t immediately come up with an event to supersede taking a spaceflight, one person had an answer to just that question! A passenger, who wishes to remain anonymous, gave up a seat on Blue Origin’s rocket ship after winning a bid for the fourth and final spot. The money received was donated to Blue Origin’s Club for the Future, a foundation focused on encouraging younger generations to “think about millions of people living and working in space.”1 Even still, wouldn’t you check your calendar before buying a ticket for tens of millions of dollars?

How can we best resolve scheduling conflicts?

  1. Weights & Priorities: Decision criteria are required. Imagine having the following weighted priorities (in order of most importance): family (4), health (3), business (2), and education (1). A family bike ride scores 7 points (4 + 3) and beats out a sales training scoring 3 points (2 + 1). What types of activities are vying for your time? What weights would you give them?
  2. Integrity & Relationships: Consulting the master calendar is required. Even with the best intentions, juggling multiple calendars and going by memory can lead to scheduling mistakes. Within reason, it’s best to stand by your commitments. A season of busyness can jeopardize even the strongest of bonds. It may be necessary to consider the importance others place on events.
  3. Options & Regrets: Timely decisions are also required. Options include: decline, reschedule, get coverage, or do a little of both. When choices are tough, rather than shrinking from communication (or ghosting people), determine what information is still needed. Avoid waffling back and forth, creating hardship for others. Make decisions early and make the most of your choice.

We may never know what gained priority over Blue Origin’s first commercial flight out to the Kármán Line, or edge of space.2 We do know that both the oldest and youngest rocket ship passengers made it a top priority: aerospace pioneer Mary “Wally” Funk (82) and university freshman Oliver Daemen (18).3 Daemen, enjoying a gap year, was invited to take his father’s seat (Joes Daemen, CEO and Founder of Somerset Capital Partners). Marking the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Oliver definitely got some inspiration for his upcoming physics and innovation management studies at University of Utrect.4, 5 Regardless of how you weight and prioritize your schedule, leverage integrity, balance relationships, consider options, and handle regrets-- BE PRESENT. Please, just BE where you are! 

Sources: 1, 4 Spaceflight Now: $28 million bid wins auction to join Bezos on suborbital spaceflight; 2 Astronomy: The Kármán Line: Where does space begin?; 3 Puget Sound Business Journal: Blue Origin's auction winner declines space trip due to 'scheduling conflict'; 5 Forbes: In Switcheroo, Blue Origin Auction Winner Drops Off July 20 Flight, Replaced By 18 Year Old; Blue Origin: Image Gallery, Reserve a Seat.

by Michelle Sugerman • Leading Synergies, LLC • © All Rights Reserved

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