Patience and Leadership | TravelResearchOnline

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Patience and Leadership

Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.” –Brian Tracy

I believe in patience. Without patience, we live with a constant irritation about too many of life’s roadblocks. The sage Anonymous once said “Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.

As we in the travel industry attempt to  make our way through the pandemic, however, patience seems scarce and hard to come by. Patience, by itself, seems too passive as we experience our industry struggle in the face of Covid-19. This weekend I watched Richard Fain’s message to the industry recorded on YouTube. What I saw there was patience with a strong dose of leadership. It was a welcome message to hear an industry leader speak out not with platitudes but with a prescription for finding our way out of this mess.

Fain points out other countries have effectively managed the crisis, but America is failing to do so. He calls for masking up and social distancing. He points out how the incidence in Germany has fallen to a level low enough to permit cruising to commence once again.

Wow. Imagine that. We have real-life examples of how to get beyond Covid-19. It can be done, it has been done. All we have to do is emulate the actions of other nations who have done so. If we begin participating in the solution, it is possible to make this work, to get the industry moving again, to be booking travel once more.

Yet, there are those in our industry waving their freak flag and letting us all know masks are not for them. For this small but vocal crowd, everything is rigged, everything is a conspiracy. They misuse charts and graphs, and prove their points with editorial from the most politically desperate recesses of the internet.  The shrillness of their cant is one reason our collective blood pressure is trending upward. From all indications, this crowd  fully expects to be microchipped, forced to vaccinate and, well, they are mad as hell and just won’t take it anymore. Sorry, but these characters are no friend to the travel industry.

Others are taking a more constructive approach. Travel professional Stef Katz has designed a series of graphics with the hashtag ” #doyourpartsotravelcanrestart” Stef apparently understands leadership as patience girded with positive steps toward a solution. That is leadership indeed.

We can fix this. Be patient, be strong, but do the right thing. Mask up, social distance and request others to do so.

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