The Art of Business- Honest Hawks or Vulture Capitalists

The Art of Business- Honest Hawks or Vulture Capitalists

Original Post 06/12/2009 

A few years back I was invited to fly to the head office of a small airline to do a presentation in their boardroom. This was paid for by the company I was going to visit for the business meeting. The meeting was to provide logistics and aid in the growth of a possible new division to their core aviation business model. I had done extensive work in the background to prepare, having a resource company considering going forward with my plans if I could put this deal together. I arrived on their first flight in the morning and was met and ushered to their boardroom. The man who met me was an individual I had known previous, having worked together at the same remote resource projects through another company that I was chief pilot for. My past dealings with this company(in their growth stage with older smaller aircraft) was healthy and respectable. I had no reason to doubt what I was going in to achieve at this meeting. Or so I thought. Everyone arrived for the board meeting which included all the top management in the company. Two of them I knew quite well, the rest I knew of but had not met before. I went into my presentation about my plans and building a relationship with them leading this new division which I knew could be profitable. About 10 minutes into the meeting is when I knew they had another agenda. They asked all the questions they needed to come to a conclusion I could be easily be bypassed in this process and they could go direct to the companies in question and achieve the same, without me. Greed and arrogance prevailed the boardroom air as I continued on. One director actually got up mid way through the meeting and walked out, indicating he had ‘other important things to do’. To say I was dumb-founded and slightly embarrassed is understating the situation. I had carried a perception of my prior relationship with the original owners, believing it good and honest, thinking it would carry forward into the future. The meeting finished with nothing more substantial than me running to catch the next flight out of there. It was a quiet long flight back to Vancouver, and I arrived home after a 16 hour day. I learned a major lesson that day. If you think you are going into a boardroom meeting to be greeted by honest hawks be prepared to face vulture capitalists. It’s that simple. Do not assume anything about anyone. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. A footnote to this; Within a year of this event the company went through bankruptcy and re-organization eventually being bought out by another company at a low price. Seems there is vindication. Until the next WebLog, GG

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