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October 16, 2008

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christine

Dear Mr Greenberg,

Regarding 'Sven, Shut Up" ... I'm responding as an advertising person, another self-styled, like you, expert in CRM; as a past Lindblad guest; and as a candid observer of the human condition. Other posters have already responded with extremely well-conducted arguments on behalf of Sven, his company, his letter and his likely motives. I feel they have done a definitive job representing my position on the subject. And I am encouraged to see people take the time to attempt to right what they feel is an injustice, in a decidely non-inflammatory way. I am also cheered to see people render a defense without resorting to the choleric use of all caps to make points, as you do.
So, I'd like to talk about something else — the whole notion of borrowed interest. Or, to take a page out of your playbook and not mince word: slander.
You have received a number of responses to your Sven post. You have undoubtedly earned the attention of people who would never, ever for any reason have read your blog — simply because you used the Lindblad name. Or rather, harnessed the Lindblad name.
In a fit of peevishness escalating at times to vitriolic, you gratuitously attacked in print — an attack that will now reside in the embalming fluid of the web as long as there are infobots — a company with which you have no personal contact. You referred to the signatory of the letter in question as the presumptive President, and — this is what I find both offensive and "telling" — you cited the company's name incorrectly twice. It is, for the record, Lindblad Expeditions. Not Lindblad Explorations. Facts, attention to detail, are apparently not necessary to the kind of expert CRM-ness you practice.
You may have honestly been bothered by Sven's letter, as you claim. You may have felt the kind of righteous anger many of us felt when our President, after the 911 attacks, urged us to show our patriotism by going shopping, thus forever reducing citizenship to consumerism. And if that were the subject of your righteous indignation, and your blog posting of the day, I might have agreed with you.
But I cannot agree with, or respect in any way, a person who invokes the name of another, a stranger, for an article. Or worse, on a blog of no consequence, but with eternal findability thanks to the ingenuity of Google. For no good reason other than a fit of pique. You could have chosen to cite the whole incident without naming names — your case could easily have been made on the basis of the facts, without the names. If striking a blow remained important to you, the hints alone could have been sufficient.

You could be sued, and perhaps, despite my loathing for knee-jerk litiigousness, you should be. But I suspect from Sven Lindblad's reasoned and respectful response to you, as well as his track record as a very real leader of a very fine company, you will not be. And, sorry for you, you then will not have him then do you the further favor of being the conduit to further unearned attention for you.

But I'm willing to point a finger at you and say it — you slandered a man and his motives to create blog fodder. Blog fodder for an inconsequential blog. Another day, another post — that probably will be read by fewer people by far over its lifetime than have enjoyed a Lindblad Expedition. And yet, by the simple sticking of his name in your blog article and mounting the mini sneer-fest that you and your erstwhile cohort participated in in the video on your site, you have accessed, appropriated really, the over 40 years of goodwill, hard work, earned recognition and respect associated with the Lindblad name. This is borrowed interest at a far more egregious scale than merely putting a baby or a puppy in the ad — this is attracting the attention of the business community through a kind of robbery.
I find this, and suspect many people would agree with me, more despicable than anything you accused Sven of in your post — even if anything you said had been true, rather than being, more likely, the product of indigestion or some ego-deflation you'd experienced earlier in your day. (I am having a great deal of trouble crediting you, based on your anything-for-the-blog post, with principles)

I think you owe Sven Lindblad some money.

And I hope that any potential client, or existing clients of yours who follow this tempest in a teapot you've stirred up, should be very very wary of you, your methods and your "irritability." Not to mention your questionable beliefs that robo-personalized salutations are better than the more honest and "communal" Dear Traveler, or that the convention of an ink jet signature isn't an accepted business practice beyond discussion at this point.

Good luck to you, Mr Greenberg, I hope you manage to keep your blog alive by subsisting on a diet of irritation, citation and gratuitous verbal violence against the unwitting.
I'd like it to go on record that you, on the merits of your writing, observations and depth of experience evidenced by the number of your postings I read prior to responding, aren't worth reading at all.

Susan

I should have said, when I first posted, that I found your blog as I was googling around trying to find more information about Lindblad since I had just returned from a trip with them last week during the worst part of the market crisis. I sat in the airport watching the market drop to frighteningly low levels and then a day later I was on board a ship with around 60 people who all were very worried about their futures and their retirement. Spending a week with this group was a complete revelation, to be with interesting, intellectual, fascinating travelers and naturalists was certainly an important part of the experience. We agreed that this trip might be our last, but it was certainly the best, and we were all relieved to be away from the craziness of the stock market for a week; while the trip was planned 6 months ago, the timing couldn't have been more perfect.

Without realizing it, we were experiencing "the tonic of wildness" that is referenced in that letter. That is why I felt that letter was honest. It was true, and I had just experienced its truth. So for you to talk about it as fear-mongering struck me as completely off base.

Other posters here mention that they can find the tonic of wildness without having to spend all that money. It is true and also wonderful but I'm not sure what that has to do with your critique of the letter. The resentment against people who can afford such vacations is just odd and not relevant to a critique of a marketing technique (letter writing). Each of us has our own ways to unwind and I think Lindblad customers find those particular trips to be the answer, which is what he was speaking to. Otherwise they wouldn't be his customer in the first place, nor would they spend such large sums to get to these exotic locations.

The other thing that really bothered me about your critique was to doubt the authenticity of the letter, whether it was actually written by him and whether he really cares about his customers. I have been receiving their mailings for a while, and after being on one of their trips, he is a persistent presence everywhere you turn. He narrates the videos they show, his letters are posted on the bulletin boards, the naturalists talk about him personally, about what he's done for the Galapagos, they don't say "Lindblad did that" they say "Sven spearheaded that." It never occurred to me that he didn't write the letters (or at least approved them), they are always so personal and from the heart. His signature may have been computer printed, but I don't expect him to sign each letter personally, do you? You seem to think he should. And that the letters don't address me as "Dear Susan," well I couldn't care less. Is it your expert opinion that a mail merge form letter gets a more positive response than one that doesn't put my name in from a computer program? I find that interesting if true. Especially because you don't like the computer signature, but wish for a computer to address your name at the top.

Based on his response here, my guess is he would have taken your phone call if you had bothered to call and ask whether he had written it. Maybe you should consider researching your targets and find out if you are right before criticizing something that turns out to be baseless. Or maybe he didn't write the response either?

If you were critiquing the letter, and suggesting that maybe he should have mentioned the recession we are in in a softer way, or not at all, or if you had suggested that he should be doing more discounting, or more concrete criticisms of the writing style, this would have sat better with me. But instead you became completely crazy talking about bottom feeding and dishonesty, neither of which fits the bill here.

My response to that letter was so very different from yours, an expert in customer relations, that either I am a complete freak, or you are totally off base as to what might motivate this particular type of customer.

Maybe Mr. Lindblad will let us know if his pitch letter produced the response he had hoped for or angered his audience the same way it did for Mr. Greenblog.

RobErret

So Paul, by your logic, suggesting something "counter intuitive" is bad. And along your logic, Warren Buffet does not know how to relate to people when he suggested that we buy shares in American companies in his op-ed piece in the New York Times, "Buy American. I Am." I mean why would somebody suggest to people to buy even more shares in companies that are faltering and on the brink of bankruptcy. I find that Buffet's article and Lindblad's letter are similar. They expose our current fears, they plead for you to do something that is counter intuitive and while Buffet doesn't tell you to buy shares of his company, by making the argument we should act with him to buy American, he is essentially trying to shore up the economy which in turn benefits him (and all of us for that matter). Since you state that you are an "EXPERT" in customer relationship management, you must know something that Warren Buffet doesn't.

I don't think Soudant, Michelle or Susan missed your point at all. I think they were trying to tell you that your knee jerk reaction to Lindblad's letter undermined your own observations as a CRM expert. Why would Lindblad's letter offend you that much? You state that Lindblad has "a standard that he has to adhere to." Are you that one to set that standard? You question whether Lindblad is authentic in everything he does. Are you qualified to judge that authenticity?

If your CFA isn't making recommendations for you to move aggressively in the market right now, then he's not giving you an opportunity to benefit from the current depressed prices (potentially reaping some great rewards in the future) and he's not doing his job is he. Is there truly a line between good advice and a pitch? Perhaps your tolerance threshold for aggressive salesmanship is lower than most. It takes all kinds to run the world including the Greenbergs, Lindblads and Buffets. Unfortunately, as you've already established, Lindblad can't count on you as a potential guest. But on the flip-side, you won't get the chance to see what other people seem to be extolling as an amazing travel experience. Grow some thick skin and move on to a more worthwhile topic.

Paul G.

Mr. Soudant, I think that you'd better take a second look at this post. You clearly didn't read what I said. I have ZERO problems with Lindblad trying to grow their business in good or bad times. Your arrogance on what constitutes a good cruise - and its environmental epiphanies and your apocalyptic view of the results of this blog post are bordering on the ridiculous. Additionally, I don't think that cruising is the world's most important subject either. I love it. I cruise the way I want to which is currently Celebrity and others at times, and don't begrudge anyone the right to cruise the way they want to whether its Carnival or Crystal or whatever. Its cruising for chrissakes! A vacation. Each of us vacations and lives rather differently, don't you think - and one isn't better than the other either. Despite your incredible dismissal of those thousands who choose Carnival to enjoy their vacations - which, I've never been on.

I'm considered an EXPERT in customer relationship management and the letter I received from Sven Lindblad was a FAILED effort in my book and that's with lots of experience in this field and world when it comes to how to relate to customers. It was deceptive and those first paragraphs were fearmongering, whether intentional or not. Whether or not you are well off enough to weather the economic storm or not. I have nothing against Mr. Lindblad either. I'm sure from his comment here that he's a nice person. But this is NOT the way to relate to customers.

And you, Mr. Soudant, are missing the point ENTIRELY - as did Michelle and Susan. Sven Lindblad can market all he wants. He can even keep sending me his literature. Just don't tell me he is selling me his cruises for my peace of mind. He's not. He's selling me his cruise for his peace of mind - which I can understand and is fine with me. There are times, and I'll say this one more time, where if you actually care enough about the prospects that you are courting, you simply give them some good advice, not a pitch. My financial advisor doesn't try to sell me new instruments in this time of crisis. The company he represents simply gave me a report on their stability and made sure I knew that our personal financial advisor was available 24X7. They didn't tell me to do something "counter-intuitive" and invest a LOT MORE in the instruments that weren't working - though it might be a good strategy. They took notice of our financial profile - our personal advisor knows us well also - and responded accordingly. They saw me as "Paul Greenberg" the actual human being and did those things they needed to do based on my actual needs. This is a general mailing I got from them, by the way. I wasn't getting a "personal" letter that starts out "Dear Traveler" which is hardly the way to inspire confidence in the personal part of this.


Robert  Soudant

Dear Mr. Greenberg,

During the Clinton administration a law was passed creating a high excise tax on "luxury yachts." It was intended to make the "rich" pay a premium. In fact the only boats subject to taxation were new boats constructed in the United States. It seemed like a grand idea at that time.

In fact it had the the effect of killing off new boat construction in the US, strengthening the position of foreign boat manufacturers and eventually resulting in the layoffs of several thousand American worker who built boats, laid down fiberglass and manufactured accessories. The tax collected little but the unintended consequences were so striking that the tax was repealed several years later.

If you had your way an ecologically responsible Lindblad Expeditions would be consigned to the dustbin of closed New York based businesses. Apparently you could care less about the fate of the ship's crew, reservation agents, naturalists and staff. What you seem to support is a five day four night excursion with 4,000 other passengers who are intent on eating, dancing, gambling and attending nightclub shows. Most significantly you seem to be offended by how people choose to save and spend their money.

Eight years ago, along with my son, I joined Lindblad on a trip to Antarctica. This was hardly a ship of fools or rich. It was people who eschewed live entertainment, TV and gambling but instead participated in naturalist led lectures on the fate of the ice sheet, penguins and krill. At the time I did not know what Krill was but I now understand that it is the basis of life for many large fish and mammals, notably whales. We also learned that several countries, using large factory ships, are scooping up the krill and turning it into a protein paste.

In every way this trip was a life changing experience. My son, now 33, left consumer marketing, sold his car and is currently pursuing a graduate degree that focuses on Global Trade and Environmental Consequences. His apartment has numerous pictures from that Antarctic trip and he rides a bicycle through the streets of Boston. He leaves a very small carbon footprint.

You can watch the Discovery Channel all day and not even begin to sense the majesty of 7,500 foot Antarctic mountains, the smell of a penguin roosting area or the violence associated with rapid weather changes in the southern oceans. I suggest, instead of luxuriating on a Carnival cruise, you cross the Drake Passage in a stormy sea with thirty knot winds and fifteen foot seas. Perhaps then you might get a visceral understanding of what global climate change might mean to those of us who are fortunate enough to reside in the currently placid middle latitudes.

Robert Soudant

Louis

Getting away from it all can bring peace to you, and can refresh you in the midst of major upheavals and chaos like our financial systems globally have gone through and may continue to in the future.

In this chaos and fear of a financial meltdown Sven is selling “Renewed faith in the future, deeper connections to your own core of optimism, and deeper bonds with friends and family.”
Sven states:
Did you know that at times of high stress, Teddy Roosevelt would go into the
wilderness in order to clear his mind and reduce stress? Henry David Thoreau wrote
in 1854, “We need the tonic of wildness.” Travel to places of great beauty or cultural interest by yourself, or with friends and family, is a good, smart, restorative idea. What you see, do, feel, think and share there will give you value that lasts: Renewed faith in the future, deeper connections to your own core of optimism, and deeper bonds with friends and family.
You will receive our latest edition of Explorations very soon. In it you will find dozens
of spirit-lifting opportunities for adventure, learning, encounters with beauty and
much more that will last for the rest of your life. And here’s something else of lasting
value, too.

OK Sven, so where do I drink the Kool-Aid? Do I have to pay you to get these benefits? Aren’t these the universal longings of people worldwide, and basis of the great religions of the world? Faith in the future, deeper connections, deeper bonds – all a sense of who one is. God, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mohammad, all of them have as their basis selfless as the path to this enlighten and peace within.

So why do I throw down a few thousand dollars to buy this when all I have to do is (a) pray (b) visit my house of worship (c) contemplate the greatness of the greater Being I believe in (d) or do all the above?

Here are some quotes to contemplate:

"Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” - Buddha

“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.” – Gandhi

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“When you make peace with yourself, you make peace with the world.” - Maha Ghosananda
So Sven and Michelle, peace out.

This isn’t about your cruises and the rabid loyalty they apparently generate.

It is all about capitalizing on other peoples’ fears and telling them peace can be bought. Sven to remind you, you said “Renewed faith in the future, deeper connections to your own core of optimism, and deeper bonds with friends and family.” With all respect can’t I find that on my own and not pay you? I hope so!
Sure, you sell unique tours and generate rabid fans, but let’s get real. You can’t manage the transformations inside clients any more than you can get a cat to bark or a dog to meow. Change comes from within. You sell great excursions yet I seriously doubt anyone will find peace anywhere on this planet unless they find it inside of themselves first.

Michelle

People, including Mr. Greenberg, are quick to assume that companies who market their product in such chaotic times like these are bottom feeders and opportunistic. Mr. Greenberg, are you resentful of people trying to offer an experience that they have worked hard to develop, market and offer to the public? Are you annoyed by a company that is genuinely devoted to its principles and stands by its product? You view Mr. Lindblad's letter as an insult but yet you insult what everybody in society does: doing the best that they can under the circumstances. If the letter seems like an affront then you you have misconstrued the meaning and only you are at fault for that. Mr. Lindblad intended the letter as a way of showing sympathy in these troubled times and that he hopes that if you do find the time and desire to travel, to travel with his company so that he can offer you a valuable travel experience.

Mr. Greenberg, apparently you do not work in the client service industry. Nor does it sound as if you have the capacity to run your own company. You don't understand the need to spread your company's message to bring in business so that you can still operate. You don't have the responsibility of supplying a product or employing people. Would you rather that Lindblad Expeditions shut its doors, fire its staff and call it quits because times are bad? Lindblad Expeditions tailored their message to the situation at hand in order to keep doing business. They are not saying "well times are tough but we're doing fabulously." They are simply saying "we understand that it's stressful right now but if you want to take a vacation, we would love for you to take it with us." The letter was targeted at a certain demographic and you fit that demographic (as you indicated that you and your wife like to cruise on upscale lines). Lindblad Expeditions doesn't send its literature to the entire general public but you act as if they sent the letter to people subsisting on food stamps.

Mr. Greenberg, have you ever traveled with Lindblad Expeditions? Do you know of anybody who has? I assume you must have met Mr. Lindblad because you indicated in your blog that he "clearly doesn't give a damn." Otherwise, why would you make such a baseless, senselessly foolish statement? As somebody who knows (more than Mr. Greenberg apparently) about Lindblad Expeditions and it's principles, I applaud the company's desire to provide a unique quality product to people who want to visit remote locations. And to clarify, I do not work for the company. And yes, I have traveled with them. So yes, I have seen that Mr. Lindblad, as well as the people who work for him, do actually "give a damn."

Let's finish this conversation with a note: one of Lindblad Expedition's most popular trips is to the Galapagos, land of Darwin's discoveries. Darwin developed the theory of evolution and natural selection during his time in the Galapagos. Part of natural selection is the concept that various species develop and adapt to become genetically stronger. That adaptation requires an organism to be opportunistic so that it may survive. So perhaps by sending its letter out, Lindblad Expeditions was in fact opportunistic. So I guess it is indicative that Lindblad Expeditions has fluorished for the past three decades, while entire corporations (need I mention Lehman Brothers) have disappeared. Mr. Greenberg, you would do well to learn from this lesson.

Paul G.

Mr. Lindblad, I don't oppose you propagating your business which is, I think you would admit, a luxury cruise experience that is more costly than and - as you point out - a very different experience than Celebrity - which I think you would admit. First, I have no right to and second, you DO treat your customers who paid you for the treatment, quite well. I'm aware of that. I know several of your customers. I didn't object to getting a letter either. What I objected to is that you made it seem as if you're doing this for me - which you are not. You're doing this to support your business in bad times. But you made several cardinal errors - the biggest being that the only way I apparently could interact with nature in a stress reducing environment was by taking a cruise with you. Not just taking a cruise. In other words, you weren't trying to reduce my stress - because it would have been good business for you to take thought leadership and be a business leader who cared enough to suggest multiple ways that I might do so. But the language rang false with that "counterintuitive" suggestion that I should cruise with you. Sometimes, you have to separate your desire to push your business from the desire to aide distressed individuals. There are companies out there, for example, who are sponsoring webinars and lectures on how small businesses can survive the economic crisis - and they aren't AT ALL pushing their products as part of the solution because its not germane to the emotional state of the individuals who are fearful.

Look, I'm glad you're not going to shut up - and I'm glad you responded. But you need to understand that this is not the time to push a dubious premise at people who are concerned with their futures - and their present. Your cruises, I'm sure, are wonderful. But take some business leadership here, not just be a salesman with an angle, even if you are entirely sincere.

One other note. Given the software tools out there these days, it doesn't come across real well when you're trying to be personal and address the letter "Dear Traveler." Use mail merge or a personalization tool to at least address it to the first name.

Now, for Susan. no one thinks that someone is going to be swayed by a letter. That's ridiculous. That has little to do with what I said. I'd have no problem at all if it were one of the letters I always get from Lindblad Expeditions. They are fine, interesting and certainly sales pitches. But this one starts out by promoting the fears and then the solution as come spend money on us because it will reduce your stress - after the entire first paragraphs are aimed at increasing stress. But Sven has a standard that he has to adhere to and that has to be consistent and authentic in everything he does and the company does. This letter wasn't either of those things and had a motive that was ulterior - whether transparent to the readers or not. Whether or not it was well written enough to sway someone or not begs the questions. The problem isn't in the general public's gullibility - they aren't that - and Sven's clientele and prospects are probably less so than most. But it is in the intent of the letter. The responsibility for the authenticity of the message lies with the writer - the interpretation with the reader. This one is on the writer. As nice as he really may be.

Louis

Sven’s arrogance and special connection with nature makes me laugh. I can just imagine his stressed out, Blackberry-addicted clients ready to jump overboard given how the markets have seen billions of investment value lost.

Let me tell you how much it cost me to connect with nature and get rid of stress, which was quite acute during finals week at Pepperdine. $20 to fill up my car, $10 for a day lunch, $5 for Gatorade, and a map from the Internet of the mountains above Santa Barbara and Santa Maria. My fiancée (now wife) and I would spend the day with friends hiking in the mountains, overlooking the pristine blue Pacific for less than $50. Peaceful up there? Sure, and did it work? Yep, survived my MBA program with flying colors and set the foundation of a marriage that is the best thing that ever happened to me. Sven, nature is more than access, it’s about connecting with people and it costs nothing. Get a clue.


Susan

I just don't get your premise here. You resent Sven for writing honestly that we are in hard times but he still wants you to travel? In what way is that dishonest or bottom feeding? What level of intellectual trickery do you find between his words? He doesn't beat around the bush, and he's clearly not going to discount his trips, but he's trying to find another, emotional, reason why to travel and spend the money. Is that dishonest? Do you think the general public is so stupid they will fall for such trickery as booking an expensive trip because he wrote a letter asking you to do it? What fools you must think the traveling public are. Or maybe it's just you.

Sven Lindblad

Dear Mr. Greenberg,

Regarding “Sven, Just Shut Up” October 16, 2008

Wow – that was certainly angry. I’d like to respond. First of all, I did write the letter myself and it was intended to be a personal message reflecting something I really do believe. And, was it also intended to stimulate business? Yes, it was – I unabashedly admit it.

As to the belief part – whether it’s a walk in the park or exploring Antarctica – nature is a proven tonic in times of stress, something I delved into in the part of my letter you did not publish (I’ve attached the entire letter so as to give total context).

As to the expense argument, we are not inexpensive to be sure. Our ships range in size from 48 to 148 passengers, which does not provide any economies of scale like the Celebrity ship you are planning to go on, which takes thousands. What we offer, however, is deep geographic knowledge, the most experienced field expertise in the business, a strong commitment to environmental stewardship and a deep conviction that service which treats people like intelligent individuals matters. You can travel with us for from less than $2,000 per person to $35,000, depending on where and for how long. I think it’s fair to say that an overwhelming number of our travelers feel that we offer good value; however, I know some simply are finding it hard to afford as well. I would so wish to be able to lower our prices, mainly to be more accessible, as any form of elitism is an anathema to me. We do not, nor have ever, catered exclusively to “Blue Bloods.”

What I do wish to protect, however, is the quality of the experience which simply cannot be maintained if we have ships that are too large – at least not in the geographies where we go which focus on bringing people to areas with little or no infrastructure in most cases (New York being an obvious exception).

A small anecdote – we recently brought our newest ship, the National Geographic Explorer, to New York City – the cost was approximately $75,000 to dock for 24 hours. We had 80 guests aboard. The Celebrity/Carnival ships amortize their fixed costs over thousands of people – just an example of scale.

And, frankly, in closing, I did indeed say “take a trip with us in order to benefit from the Tonic of Wildness, as opposed to doing so with anyone else.

I am not a cynic so I won’t characterize the difference between the meaning of the tonic of wildness on our ships in Antarctica, Galapagos, Baja California or Costa Rica as opposed to a Celebrity cruise in the Caribbean. Suffice it to say that it simply is a very different idea.

To characterize us or my letter as opportunism, disgusting, unconcerned about his customers, not giving a damn, lying is, I believe, unjust. Frankly if you knew us as an enterprise, understood our guests and knew a bit more about what our principles are, you might feel differently.

I’m feeling a bit like the Dixie Chicks when they were told “just shut up and sing.” I guess I’ll never shut up and I can only hope that this, as an attempted reasoned response, helps to clear up any misunderstandings. I would be delighted to discuss your concerns if you wish.

Sven Lindblad

**************

Full Letter Referenced by Mr. Greenberg

Dear Traveler,

It is Friday, October 3, 2008. The last two weeks have been remarkable. One major
financial institution after another has either collapsed or been bought or is waiting to
be rescued by the government. The stock market has behaved like a gigantic roller
coaster. And, today, or by the time you get this letter, Congress will either have
voted or not voted to inject massive government funds into the financial institutions.
Confidence in government is at an all-time low.

Would it be fair to say we live in stressful times? I think so, because uncertainty in
one form or another is all around us in abundance. Is this making you feel overtly
concerned or nervous, even frightened at some level? That’s stressful.

I don’t want to be presumptuous, but I suggest you do what might seem counterintuitive
at this moment — make plans now to travel somewhere with us in the next nine months. This isn’t escapism or self-indulgence; it’s the antidote to toxic stress and uncertainty.

Focus on what has lasting value, what endures — Nature — and you’ll be making the
only fool-proof investment you can make right now, for the short and long term. Let
me explain why.

The Short Term

Did you know that at times of high stress, Teddy Roosevelt would go into the
wilderness in order to clear his mind and reduce stress? Henry David Thoreau wrote
in 1854, “We need the tonic of wildness.” Travel to places of great beauty or cultural interest by yourself, or with friends and family, is a good, smart, restorative idea. What you see, do, feel, think and share there will give you value that lasts: Renewed faith in the future, deeper connections to your own core of optimism, and deeper bonds with friends and family.

You will receive our latest edition of Explorations very soon. In it you will find dozens
of spirit-lifting opportunities for adventure, learning, encounters with beauty and
much more that will last for the rest of your life. And here’s something else of lasting
value, too.

The Long Term

If you reserve by November 30, 2008 any voyage that departs prior to June 30, 2009, I will add your name to a very special community we call Friends for Life. What is a Friend for Life? It’s a lifelong promise that I will never forget our simple exchange. As a Lindblad Friend for Life you and your family, down through the generations, are entitled to:
• 10% discount on all subsequent travel on Lindblad-owned or chartered ships. On
Lindblad-owned ships, your future 10% discount also applies to the gift shop, bar
and on-board services.
• Legacy rights — the privilege of lending to your family and handing down to
your children and grandchildren the status of Friend for Life.
• Ongoing values and special programs for you that our staff and I will seek out
and pass on to you as they are developed.

To designate your status, you will receive a personal Friend for Life card, a potent symbol of the enduring value of friendship and our shared appreciation of the world’s beautiful places.

To learn more, please call our Expedition Specialists at 1-800-397-3348, contact your travel agent, or visit us on the web at www.expeditions.com. Again, you will receive our latest edition of Explorations soon. In the meantime, should you need anything, please get in touch.


All the best,
Sven-Olof Lindblad


Marshall Lager

Wow, do I want to meet Sven so I can smack him. Great post, and I only wish I'd gotten the letter myself so I could put it in my column.

Marshall

Glenn

Paul,

Several posts ago you highlighted exceptional performance in the CRM profession. Perhaps you need to create an awards process for the bottom feeders. As the Razzies are to the Oscars, so to speak.

BTW, Bob. Great quote.

I'll be reading...Glenn

PaulSweeney

Paul, perhaps the core of the lack here, is that the company see's you as a potential upscaler in a time of recession? wow. Remarkable targeting software dude.

BobWarfield

As F. Scott Fitzgerald said in The Great Gatsby, the rich are not like us.

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