Who’d have thought that this would be the business I’d end up in? I mean, I always thought it’d be something in the realm of travel, what with dad being a commercial pilot and mum being a sociologist specialising in the study of leisure travel. Still, it’s surprised me as much as anyone that I’ve ended up operating Santa tours to the Arctic.
I mean, I don’t personally lead the tours. I run the company from our Melbourne office, which also oversees our Hong Kong and London branches. It’s not a big company, but it’s proven quite successful – particularly in the southern hemisphere, where people find snow-covered winter landscapes to be highly exotic, and often go for decades yearning to experience such a thing.
One of my secrets is sending all new staff members off to do short business management training courses. I do this even if they’re not going into managerial positions, because it takes the burden of leadership off me. In my view, people who understand how management works are better able to be managed by others, because they understand what the goal is. Plus, it means that any staff member can step up to the task, should that become necessary.
I’ve always felt that this investment in training is worthwhile. I’ve had people tell me that I’m wasting my money, and that I should switch my focus to time management. Professional courses in that area do seem like good investments, but still, business management training seems foundational to me. As in, time management skills should emerge organically from an understanding of management more generally.
Arguably, that works the other way around as well – I can see the argument there. Still, I stand by my approach. Time management skills, great though they may be, aren’t going to be much chop when it comes to reindeer wrangling, although they might help with the nailing timing of our Northern Lights expeditions.