Grand Circle Leaders Return from Turkey
—Just in Time for Turkey
by Alan E. Lewis
Entry: December 2010
The “LEAD team” of Grand Circle Associates takes a rare break at Topkapi Palace in Istanbul.
Last month I wrote an entry about the qualities that set Grand Circle apart from other travel companies. One of the things I talked about was LEAD, a program we recently implemented to improve both our trips and the leadership qualities of our associates.
The goals of the LEAD program, I said, were to develop our high-performing associates in leadership positions or who show strong leadership potential; to develop open and courageous communication, risk-taking, and teamwork; to listen to our travelers, and make recommendations for improving our service to them. I also mentioned how a group of these associates had just embarked on one of our OAT trips, Turkey’s Magical Hideaways.
Well, they made it back from Turkey a couple of weeks ago—back just in time to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with their families, I might add!
Kim Costley, one of our associates who recently completed her fifth year at Grand Circle, was part of the returning LEAD group. “I had read so much about Turkey and seen all the great pictures in the brochures,” Kim told me, “but nothing prepared me for the real thing. The scenery in Cappadocia, the architecture in Istanbul, and the wonderful Turkish people—it was all just amazing.”
Cappadocia was a highlight—in more ways than one—for Grand Circle Associate Kim Costley.
But Kim also never lost sight of the true purpose of her journey. “I could feel myself gaining confidence with each passing day,” she said. “As you know, we take turns leading the group for the day. Well, I have to admit I was a bit nervous thinking about that, because my turn happened to coincide with the busiest day of the trip—the school and village visit. But everything went smoothly. And just the fact that I was relaxed enough to thoroughly enjoy myself that day while leading the team made me realize that I must have done a pretty good job.”
I’m sure Kim—as well as everyone else—did a splendid job. The team reported back to me with some great insights into the logistics of the trip as well as details about the lodgings we utilize across Turkey. And we’ll be sure to take their advice and learnings into consideration when we re-visit our Turkey’s Magical Hideaways adventure—as we always do—to prepare for a new year of departures.
Alan E. Lewis