For Career Guidance, Travel Agents Should 'Look to the Rainbow'

by Scott Koepf
For Career Guidance, Travel Agents Should 'Look to the Rainbow'

Photo: Shutterstock.com


For years, there have been many pundits who have predicted the demise of travel agents. Happily, this has not occurred, and in many ways, it is because of the strength of various travel agent organizations that travel agents are in the midst of an exciting resurgence. This is not a business anyone should try to conquer alone. There are excellent consortia, franchises, and host agencies who can help you reach your goals through support and unique services. The question is which company should you make a significant commitment to?

The obvious answer is to do your research and ask as many questions as you can possibly think of. No doubt that will help you hone in on the right organizations in terms of what they currently offer. It is important to not only see if they are a fit for you today, but also to inquire as to where they are going and their vision for the future.

When pondering these weighty issues, I turn to the resource that can bring true clarity: musical theater. I believe the lessons we can garner from these entertaining performances can serve us well in our lives and our businesses. In this case, it is imperative to understand that where a company is going may be much more important than where it is at today.

Having sat on innumerable panels over the years, I have spouted out the features and benefits of my company alongside my friendly competitors who do the same. When the panels are done, it is clear that we all have solid companies that provide excellent service and support. So what then should you look for to help determine the direction to take with your business?

In a word: leadership. In a song:

Look, look
Look to the rainbow.
Follow it over the hill
And the stream.
Look, look
Look to the rainbow.
Follow the fellow
Who follows a dream.
Follow the fellow,
Follow the fellow,
Follow the fellow
Who follows a dream.

"Finian’s Rainbow" is a musical filled with fantasy, but it also provides sage wisdom as to whom to follow. In other words, beyond the programs, education, and technology, ask about what the vision is for the company.

There is no shortage of great books on leadership, and when they list the most valuable traits for a great leader, usually at the top of the list is vision. So why “follow the fellow who follows a dream”? Because vision is a dream defined.

When you look for a company to align with or even whom to listen to for advice, ask them about their vision. All of your choices and decisions in your business should not be about today, but where will it take you in the future.

When a leader has vision and can articulate it, then following becomes enjoyable and exciting.

Another song from this musical perfectly describes what you can look forward to if you do indeed “follow the fellow who follows a dream”!

On that great come-and-get-it day,
Won't it be fun when worry is done and money is hay.
That's the time things'll come your way
On that great, great come-and-get-it day.

Glory time's comin' for to stay
"Come-and-get-it" day.

Look for leadership, and when you find it, “Glory time’s coming for to stay”!

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