I listened to a thought provoking comment on the radio a couple of days ago.

The comment was about looking in a mirror and wondering what reflection do you see?

I thought about that for a while.

Is the reflection I see only what I want to see?


Is the reflection I see reality?


Is the reflection I see an image of something from the past I have not let go of?

Or finally,

Is the image I see what others see?

I thought about these questions in relation to the way I see our adventure tourism business, River Valley. I have been involved for 32 years so far and during that time have seen a very small family company grow into something substantially larger, though still family owned and operated.

I think these questions are not only poignant for me, but for everyone.

Do I only see what I want to see?

Do I ignore, or push to the back of my mind the parts of the operation that don’t quite fit my present world view? I would have to say, guilty on occasion.

How much of what I see in that reflection is actually reality?

Of course we could get really philosophical here and question what is reality. However for this discussion we will stick with the hard core data and the things we can touch, see and smell. In my role as Managing Director I actually have to deal with what is perceived as reality, even though I may not always want to.

To experience this sort of reality calls for self honesty. On the whole, not guilty.

Am I still seeing a picture of the past?

As an organisation grows and changes it is very easy for some to still see it as the way it was way back when. I know we have both returning customers and some staff who still think we are the very small organisation that we were in the 1990s. A time when we either did literally did know everyone by name, or at the very least recognised them if they returned at some point.

Thank fully we have not entirely lost that, and many guides and lodge staff do remember the names or recognise guests who have visited or been on a river trip or horse trek.

Change however is inevitable and we are different now. I like to think even better.

And the final question, do I see what others, especially staff and customers see?

No I don’t always see what others see. We all become so used to something looking like the way it always has that we no longer question what we see. We no longer question, is what I see fit for purpose? Is what I see the same positive message that I think customers and staff see. Is the story we are telling, the one our customers and staff are hearing.

Taking The Time To Look In the Mirror

Just writing this post today has made me question the reflection that I see, both of myself and of River Valley. I might have to look in that mirror a little more often.

What reflection do you see in your mirror?

Brian Megaw