Ever been happy about not knowing the things you don’t know? Another way to put that - ever felt like ”Ignorance is bliss” - I have. Well, my bliss was disturbed this week in a big way. I have spent all week at the AEA (Aircraft Electronics Association) office in Lees Summit, MO in a training for new and prospective Part 145 Repair Station owners. The class was full of owners and managers that were in every age and stage of a repair station. Some were startups that needed help creating their RSM (Repair Station Manual), others were established businesses that were in the class for a refresher course on best practices as an organization and a refresher on best practices for their RSM.
The instructor, Ric Peri, was fantastic at breaking the information down into bite sized pieces, however, even the best meal can become too much if you have had too much to eat. On a serious note, this week was ripe with invaluable information and understanding. I am without a doubt a better Part 145 Repair station owner because of this week. One of the observations that I have made is that Repair Station owners almost without exception fall into two categories: 1. Technicians/mechanics that have found themselves running a business or 2. Business people that just happen to own a repair station. What is so impressive about the class that I have been in this week is that it adds value for either type of repair station owner. I was so impressed with the level of detail and quality of training that was provided by Paula Derks and her team at AEA.
Knowledge/acknowledgment is the first step to change, right? So even though as I entered the class on Friday morning with the feeling that my head might actually explode if I identified one more area in our business that could be optimized, ultimately, I know that I am a better and more knowledgeable business owner as a result of my time spent at AEA this week. I have a responsibility to my employees, my customers and myself to have a working knowledge and in depth understanding of the FAA Part 145 regulations, my Ops Specs, and RSM and what they mean for my business. The great news is that AEA makes that easier.
What comes next as I jump back into my business this week? The slow and deliberate process of implementing the pertinent things I have learned to make our organization better. Even the most productive and profitable organizations can get better if they are willing to self-assess and continually challenge themselves. Sparkchasers is a pretty good company, but we should strive to get better. We shouldn’t be happy with the status quo or the “good enough”. This week was certainly a lot of information and at times, overwhelming, but I am inspired and challenged by all I have learned and I am confident that Sparkchasers will be a better organization as a result.
The work that we perform for our customers, as Part 145 Repair Stations, is pretty important wouldn’t you say? Why wouldn’t we be constantly looking for the best education and training classes we can find? I welcome any feedback or observations any of you might have on the need for education as owners and leaders, and I would love to hear from anyone that has also taken any of the classes offered by AEA – what did you learn? What would you recommend? How are you challenging yourself to get better?