While in Vermont on vacation I also stayed at the Trapp Family Lodge. I love, love, love, the movie The Sound of Music so being able to stay at the lodge of the family who inspired that story was truly a magical moment. I was inspired by the family, the singing, the stand that they took to leave their country before the Nazis took over and now I truly respect them more. After they left Austria and came to the US, they traveled around as singers. A few years later they settled in Stowe, VT and began eventually to invite guests to their home. From there sprouted a lodge, which is now a family run business. I come from a family who owns hotels so the current Trapp family continues to resonate for me.
The youngest von Trapp (son of Maria and the Captain) is Johannes and is President of the Trapp Family Lodge. I was very impressed to see his leadership skills and business acumen in translating the family name and fame into a well known and well run business. The lodge has hiking trails, cross country skiing trails, mountain biking trails, tennis courts, a farm to food restaurant, and great fitness center, and they produce their own lager. They also lease out villas to families who want to come to the lodge each year. All of these components along with the family legacy draws in visitors from all over the country and the world.
The leadership lesson I saw from the von Trapps was a continuous re-invention of themselves while staying true to their core values. The Captain was in the navy. Once they came to the US they were singers. Then they transformed a lodge into a successful business while still spreading the essence of family, love, integrity, and compassion to those people who stay with them.
As leaders and as organizations we must continually grow and learn and transform in order to stay ahead of the curve. The environment, the situations are always changing, but if we keep a strategic mind, a vision of where we want to go, and a perseverance to continue to move towards your dreams, values, and goals then through hard work a leader will succeed. Just has Johannes Trapp is succeeding and continuing to grow the legacy of the von Trapp family.
Monica Thakrar has over 18 years experience in business focused mainly on strategy, change management, leadership development, training and coaching resulting in successful implementations of large scale transformation programs.