• Shari Wallack

competitors or allies?

Updated: Apr 14, 2021

At the beginning of my book journey, I found myself in Chicago visiting my childhood friend Michele. While there, I reached out to Karen Devine, the founder and owner of 3D Cruise Partners. For several years, Karen was my sales rep at Regent Seven Seas Cruises. She later went on to form 3D Cruise Partners - a company that occasionally competes with buy the sea for corporate and incentive cruise business. Why not connect with Karen for lunch and share my story with her.

We learned a great deal at that lunch on the rooftop of the London House Hotel. If fact, it was the first time we had connected, one-on-one, without industry people asking us, "Are you two friends, colleagues, competitors, or enemies? What exactly IS your relationship?

We shared strategies, pandemic stories, and our hopes for the future. There was no judgement. We reminisced about our early days in the industry and vowed to help each other through this difficult time. We formed our own support group, cheering each other on from the sidelines. I thank Karen for her honesty, friendship and acceptance. We no longer see ourselves as competitors. We consider ourselves collaborators, waiting for a chance to get back out to sea and watch both of our organizations thrive. I recall a time that we found ourselves on the same team during a friendly wine making competition onboard a Celebrity ship. Our goal was to create the winning red wine from a field of six teams. Of course we won, with a wine named Cleavedge to honor our all-female team and the name of the next Celebrity ship, Edge.

Partnerships shows up in the most unique of circumstances. Learn to embrace each other and not be fearful of one another. If you act out of love and not fear, you will find that your successes become theirs, and theirs become yours. That is when you find your best challah-lujah!

Read article at Travel Weekly

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