It’s been a busy year for Peter Carlisle, nCipher Security’s VP of Global Sales. In honour of his 10th ‘Where in the World is Peter Carlisle’ blog (Las Vegas), we decided to check in on his 2019 travel milestones and ask some questions about his non-stop global adventures. First, a handy chart:
|Miles Traveled||168,000||7 times around the world|
|Nights away||91||Of a 212 day period so around 43% of the year to date|
|Nights in the air||17||Am learning to sleep on-board – but it doesn’t come naturally|
|Nights in Hotels||74||2.5 months of the year so far or about a third of the available days|
|Number of flights||52||At 2 hours per flight, plus a few delays it means over 100 hours in airports – or nearly 3 working weeks|
|Hours in the air||378||That’s 16 x 24 hour days or almost 10 x 40 hour working weeks|
|Hotel check-ins||33||Will do anything to beat the queue!|
|Countries visited||12||Uruguay, Argentina, USA, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Netherlands, Italy, Qatar, UK, Germany|
|US states visited||8||Florida, California, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, Minnesota, Arizona, Illinois|
|Continents Visited||6||Just Antarctica to go!|
nCipher: How do you feel about your carbon footprint?
PC: Well, it’s something I think about a lot and I do worry about being responsible in this area. I would never make a long journey for a single meeting so I always maximise my time abroad by filling my calendar with as many engagements as possible. This means seeing customers, partners and spending time with the local nCipher team. I find I use all the available hours and have conversations at breakfast, lunch, dinner and all points in between. I know that we have technology that can support conference calls and video calls and make it easier to connect remotely, but there will always be a value in face-to-face contact. It’s often the unplanned, informal moments that deliver the value on a trip and those don’t happen on conference calls. All of our meaningful relationships as individuals tend to be founded on face-to-face engagement. I’m thinking here of family, close friends and partners. I don’t see that we should expect business relationships to work without the human touch. I see regularly how much it means to customers to have a senior executive take time out to come and engage first hand and I know that my team values the opportunity to spend time with me when I am on the road. It certainly helps me to get to know my team as individuals, which I believe is important.
nCipher: What some of the things you do to maximise your effectiveness when you travel?
PC: I like to try and soak up as much of the atmosphere and culture of anywhere I go, even it’s a short trip. That means NOT staying at the airport, but making my way downtown. I always eat local as well, since it gives an insight into how things work; watching behaviour and body language is a great learning tool. I try to minimise my time spent on calls back to the office as that distracts me from my local focus. My aim is to have as much “face time” as possible when I am on the road as, for me, that is the key opportunity that travel gives me. Finding time to have a walk around and soak up the sights and atmosphere is important to me too. It helps me physically if I have been on a long flight, helps me get my thoughts and plans for the trip in order and also gives me the chance to see a little of the local culture up close.
nCipher: What tips do you have for other business travellers?
PC: Travel light: It’s always got to be hand luggage only. Waiting for luggage at the carousel or queuing to check in a bag are two big time wasters – would literally cost me days over the course of a year. So get a strong lightweight case and pack only what you really need. A check of the weather forecast for your destination is usually a smart thing to do, it can help remind you not to pack a raincoat for that trip to Dubai!
Look after your eyes: Crossing time zones and having disrupted sleep patterns can be hard on the eyes. Always have your sunglasses on hand and pack a good quality eye product to soothe away any shadows. For me it’s Kiehl’s Eye De-Puffer and my folding Persol shades!
Perhaps most importantly – focus on the moment. When you are on the move constantly and juggling a lot of balls it’s tempting to be looking ahead at the next thing or next destination. Try and focus on the place you are right now and the people you are with. That’s the key to maximising value from travel and in making the most of time at home in between trips. It’s also the best way to avoid jet lag!
nCipher: Travelling as much as you do there must be things that you find annoying?
PC: Airports tend to be busy, noisy places and a lot of people get very stressed with the demands of modern travel which can create a challenging environment. As a regular traveller I plan ahead for the airport and do everything I can to speed my way through all the various roadblocks that can crop up. So I’m afraid I can be impatient with those who are less prepared! My big bugbear is people who appear to know nothing about the security screening process and act bewildered when asked to take toiletries and electronics out their bags despite having passed dozens of graphic signs and watched everyone else ahead in the line do the exact same thing. My family find travelling with me a mixed blessing. On the one hand they find my familiarity with all the procedures reassuring but, on the other hand, they know that if one of them slows us down with a forgotten water bottle in the hand luggage they will hear about it from me!
nCipher: Has anything unusual happened on your travels this year?
PC: There have been plenty of memorable moments this year. Here’s one that still makes me smile: I had a room on the 35th floor when I stayed in Melbourne. It had a wonderful view over the famous sports grounds and river.
I figured that as no-one could possibly overlook my room I would leave the blinds open so that the dawn light would help me wake up.
I woke at first light around 5:30am and stood by the window with a coffee in hand contemplating the day ahead. I was pretty surprised when a hot air balloon with 20 or so sightseers passed right by the window. Mind you – to be fair – probably not as surprised as they were as I hadn’t got fully round to getting dressed!
nCipher: You stay in a lot of hotels – what makes for a good one in your book?
PC: I have pretty straightforward needs when it comes to hotels – but there are three things that I always look for:
- Being able to open a window and have some fresh air (too much air conditioning gets uncomfortable after a while)
- The ability to make a really good cup of coffee in my room when I wake up (so love to see a Nespresso in the cupboard!)
- A proper powerful shower in a cubicle (I hate curtains over the bath!).
If I have those things, then we’re off to a good start. A good view out of the window lifts the spirits as well!
nCipher: Any plans to slow down this year after such a busy few months?
PC: No, not at all. I will be travelling in Europe in September and then I have nCipher’s Channel Partner Conferences to host in October which will take me around the world with one in Amsterdam, one in Ho Chi Minh City and one in New Orleans. Hong Kong is already on the agenda for November so it doesn’t look like I will be doing much sitting around.
nCipher: Do you enjoy your role with its challenging schedule?
PC: I’m very lucky to be able to do what I do. I have been to many amazing places and had the opportunity to meet and spend time with a vast spectrum of people. I’ve always enjoyed travel and the fact that I can incorporate that into my work life is a real bonus.
When I look back on the last few years at all the great memories I have, all the customer projects we’ve delivered and all the fun along the way I can only feel privileged.
nCipher: And finally, if you were to write a song for your blues band about your travel experiences what might that be?
PC: I think I already have that covered. Almost all of the time I enjoy my time on the road, but, just occasionally, I get the feeling that it’s time to get back home and away from all the hustle and bustle. There is a song on the forthcoming Sloe Train album called “Feel Like Going Home” which sums up that feeling!