Do you remember what things were like in May 2020? I sure do. In the tourism space, we were naked. Naked, man. Stripped bare of our pretensions and goals and targets and deadlines and reason for being. We had gone from the business of spreading happiness to the business of managing anxiety. Our work had gone from curating joyous programs to negotiating with irate clients and distressed suppliers. And the existential crisis kept lurching ahead…
You walk around trade shows in tourism this month, May 2023, and it’s a different story. People are OPTIMISTIC! Lodges are being built, everyone needs staff, the statistics are great… man, even the president is high-fiving the industry in public and promises to make visas even more accessible. It’s a whole different ball game, and new flights from core markets are being added almost every week. Happy days. And people are ecstatic.
Or are they? You see, there’s an undercurrent of suspicion. We’ve been here before, after all. We know what it looks like to have the rug pulled out from under our feet, to be caught with our pants down. Things are going super well… until they’re not. And it can change in an instant.
Now, how on earth do we stir up some positivity and momentum, if the hard evidence in front of us is still treated with cynicism? How do we rewire our beaten-up psyches to plan for a strong future but mitigate the risks in a way that still allows us to go WHOOP-WHOOP, high-five each other and celebrate the wins?
Well, might I suggest a small little mid-year checklist that could help inform thinking:
DO WE HAVE CLARITY OF VISION?
Do we know where we are going? Not just in the next six months, but in the next year, the next five years? Do we know what kind of business we want to build, what kind of contribution we want to make, what kind of impact we want to have on our society? If we are clear on all of that, any bumps in the road (such as another pandemic) should only serve to delay us, not stop us.
DO WE HAVE CERTAINTY OF INTENT?
How do we turn that vision into reality? What are the small steps that we need to take to get there? If we focus on the controllable, the changeable, the stuff within our power to effect, we will feel more empowered. And the stuff that we could worry about will become less relevant, and occupy smaller space in our mind. Are we certain of our intentions, and do we execute on them?
DO WE LET THE POWER OF OUR VALUES GUIDE US?
As an individual, a family, a business, you need to be clear on what your values are. The set of rules that inform and influence your boundaries and behaviour, and takes the guesswork out of all the hard decisions. Does this sit with our values, or doesn’t it? Make a lot of things a lot easier…
Stephen Covey, in his seminal work The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, talks about a Proactive mindset. A way of being where you focus on your circle of influence, use positive language and act on the most important things while deploying the clarity of your long-term goals and vision. The first step is to reflect on where you are, where you’ve come from… and then be highly intentional on where you’re going, and what you need to do to get there.
Are you making time for proper reflection?