Until I met Monica. She is the tour director at Globus (a global tour operator) on our Spanish Fiesta tour. For all uninitiated, this is my annual family vacation this year. A tour of Spain, and the first tour ever for the Raj family.
Normally for our vacations, we pick a country and travel it by ourselves. Our philosophy is to go an inch wide but a mile deep. Focus on a few historic cities and spend enough time to understand them well. This time it’s different. We signed up with a tour company to see Spain. We’re going a mile wide and an inch deep. We will have traveled the entire country (11 cities in 13 days) during the course of this tour.
Monica is in charge of our group comprised of 21 people (a small group by their standards). We have 19 Americans and 2 Australians. Aged from 75 to 13. 9 men and 12 women. All wonderful people.
This is where her job gets to be fun. She has to ensure that we all operate as one team. Wake up early. Get our bags out on time. Have breakfast. Leave for sightseeing trips. Stay together. Return on time. You get the gist… herding cats would be easier as everyone in the group is a customer.
Well, she does this job very well. She is empathetic yet determined. She is organized yet flexible. She’s a martinet when necessary, but has a soft and gentle way of making sure everyone feels they’re having a good time – including the six teenagers in our group.
Day 9 of the tour and she has become beloved. More importantly, she is respected and trusted. We all land up at the restaurants she recommends and stores she mentions.
She does a great job with a great style. Classic account managers do this. That’s why their clients love them. That’s how they build long-term relationships. That’s how their agencies become successful.
A lesson we all learned early in our careers. But, a good one to re-learn from Monica.