“"How many leaders actively seek out and encourage views alien and at odds with their own? All too few...Who in your organization serves as your Challenger In Chief? Interrogating the choices you are considering making? Making you consider the uncontemplated, the unimaginable and that which contradicts or refutes your position? And also challenging you?"”
Up Front: February 2014
John McCarthy dreamed about starting Business Jet Traveler long before he began working for our parent company, AIN Publications, in 1984. In fact, the concept originally came to him many years prior when he was the advertising manager for Piper Aircraft. That’s when he first saw the need for a publication that could help business aviation passengers maximize their investment. After joining AIN, he continued to fine-tune the BJT concept for 19 more years before we published our first issue in 2003.
In the years that followed, John served as our publisher and involved himself in almost every aspect of the magazine. He consistently came up with ways for us to improve and evolve, all the while tweaking our circulation list to reach more users of business aviation. “I would wake up every morning thinking about BJT,” he told me recently.
John came into the office earlier, and stayed later, than everyone else. He kept his desk and databases in perfect order and was one of the best ad sales representatives this industry has ever seen. “You can get a lot accomplished in the quiet time in the morning and the stillness in the evening after everyone has gone home,” he told me, adding that “putting 10 percent more time into your workday will allow you to be 30 percent more productive.”
“Productive” is certainly a word that applies to John. Though BJT was his baby, he took on countless other roles, overseeing sales and marketing for the entire AIN family of products, which he helped to grow from three print publications to 11 magazines (many published daily at airshows all over the world), two websites, six online newsletters, two apps and AINtv, an online video operation.
I will always be grateful for having had the opportunity to work directly for John when I started at AIN Publications (as group brand manager) in 2006. He was patient, detail-oriented and tough, but above all supportive. Nothing made me feel prouder than hearing John end a Friday with “you did a lot of great work this week.” In fact, I still find myself evaluating my work based on whether or not I would be willing to show it to John. His expectation for excellence, which he applied mostly to himself, will always be a powerful motivator.
I’m as grateful for John’s friendship as I am for his professional guidance. He invariably knows when it’s time to step away from the computer, turn off all devices and order a round of cocktails. And despite his serious demeanor, he has a terrific sense of humor, a biting wit and a caring personality. More than once, he has helped me through a crisis and provided a shoulder to cry on.
John retired at the end of 2013, after 29 years with AIN Publications. While I’m happy that he’s finally taking some time off, I’m already missing his leadership, creativity and counsel. Our company owes him a large debt. So do I.
What our readers had to say
Thank you for the kind remarks in your editorial about John McCarthy on his retirement from BJT [Up Front, February/March 2014]. I first met John back in our Piper days. He has a unique perspective on our industry and has contributed significantly to the maturity of private aviation.
Douglas H. Smith