Comment: Teamwork is the key to success

We need everyone on our teams to be clear on their objectives, says Cosmos and Avalon chief executive Giles Hawke

Everyone talks about how important teamwork is and whether somebody is a good team player or not.

We all know the people who aren’t. They don’t communicate, take credit for everything themselves and care more about the ‘me’ than the ‘we’. They focus on what matters to them rather than what works for the collective good, and they can be arrogant and rude.

The funny thing about people like this is that although they can be successful, they have no appreciation of the fact they are only successful because a team of people around them help that to happen. The solo superstar never recognises this.

Yet whatever we do in life we are part of a team, whether it be our family, our work or our friendships, and we all have our roles to play within those teams. For some it’s the coach/mentor, for others it’s the behind-the-scenes organiser; you might be the creative ideas person or the front-facing person.

And within our different teams we often play different roles depending on circumstances, strengths, needs and how we feel. One thing is for sure, though: none of us would succeed without all of the key roles being filled.

I’m fortunate at Cosmos and Avalon to work with an extremely committed and talented group who understand and enjoy their roles and recognise why their contribution to the team is vital. I know I can’t be successful unless they are all successful too, so I have to play my part in that team not to let any of them down.

I’m also fortunate to be part of the Clia UK and Atas teams, with our focus on doing everything we can, as teams, to help travel agents sell more cruise and more touring and adventure holidays.

Fundraising teams

Recently, I have been part of two charity fundraising teams, working together to raise much-needed money for the Family Holiday Association (FHA) and Abta LifeLine. Those teams have consisted of people doing the challenges, those who helped organise and orchestrate them, and the charity teams who provided support and advice and amplified the fundraising messages. Then the wider travel, friends and family teams kindly donated to the charities in support of our efforts.

The camaraderie and fun in the lead-up to and on the day of our Clia bike ride for the FHA was fantastic and we were all aware this was a whole team effort to maximise our impact and deliver what we could for the charity. It wasn’t about individual performance or who rode fastest or farthest, but about how we could all reach our goals and support our team along the way, then celebrate our success together when we’d finished.

For my virtual London Marathon there was a team from Abta LifeLine helping and organising, a team at the London Marathon itself, then my own personal team of friends and family who ran with me, popped up along the way to cheer or offer Coke and Jelly Babies, not to mention my running mentor and buddy who ran every step with me having trained on my long runs alongside me. On the day, it was my marathon result and name on the board, but it was only possible because a whole host of people helped make it so.

Shared objectives

Which brings us to our industry and our businesses. We need everyone in our teams to be clear on the objectives and what their part in them are. And we need to have clear measures of success and to celebrate together when we achieve our goals.

We often only ever see one or two public faces of most travel organisations, but there are hundreds of people working to make those companies successful and to enable that public-facing person to play their part as one small cog in their business’s wheel.

So a big shout-out from me to all team players. And if you aren’t already one, start thinking about how you can be a better team player in the future.

To donate to Giles’ fundraising causes, visit:

Family Holiday Association: CLIA New Forest Cycle Challenge 2021

Abta LifeLine: Virtual London Marathon

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