General Manager, Emery, An Autograph Collection Hotel
April 30, 2021
What do you love most about being a leader?
My favorite part of being a leader is working with team members on reaching their potential through training and development. One of the things that I love most being a leader when I have past team members that still reach out to me for advice which makes me extremely proud to have been a mentor to them. I still have a card that I received many years ago from a younger team member. On the card it states “above and beyond” inside the card the message is “you never know the impact that you are going to make on someone.” This person described to me what my leadership meant to her. It reminds me that as a leader you have the power to impact an individual to aspire to do more.
What is your management philosophy?
Being a leader is a large responsibility that I do not take lightly. I believe each team and each team member needs to be led based on their strengths. As a leader I cannot forget about the weakness. By creating the expectations on what needs to be accomplished for day, month or year each individual will have a clear path to success. Typically, these expectations are created with keeping a balance scorecard for guests, employees, financials and their own personal growth.
What inspires you to be great?
Truly what inspires me is my passion for hospitality. It can be as simple as receiving a note from a guest about how we created memories for them, a team member being promoted, development of a new service or fixing a long-term problem. All of it inspires me.
How do you inspire team members?
Inspiring a team is two parts. Being a good story teller to helping your team members see the vision and the second part is giving recognition as often as possible. I have a past experience that I continue to draw from. I was working with a team member whom I spoke about the best customer experience I created and how it made me feel. That same team member took it to heart and created a similar experience for a guest. When I found out about the action he had taken, I wrote the team member a Thank You card. The next day after receiving it he showed me a picture of him holding it that his mother had taken. He was very proud!
What advice/tips resonated with you most from mentors throughout your career?
I believe it is very important to have mentors throughout your career which can help not you not just professionally but personally as well. There are a few things that I have learned from mentors that I carry with me.
1. Be firm, fair and consistent in everything you do.
2. Hire talent and train technical.
3. Have a Vision and then develop the plan to get you there.
4. You have the right to delegate, but you don’t have the right to not follow up.
5. You have earned your seat at the table use it wisely.
What is the most pressing challenge you’ve faced and resolved in the past year?
2020 has been the most challenging year I have faced in my professional career as many. As many experienced down-sizing in the hospitality industry hearing from so many co-workers as well as myself, we need to find new jobs or even sometime careers. I took the time to find the perfect company for me with the right culture. In doing so I have been able to assist fellow co-workers and even former employees with good advice on what to do and not do in the situation. When I receive those emails or phone calls that their job is no longer. I offer these thoughts: “You are allowed to be upset go through all the emotions it’s ok. Once you have gone through all the emotions take stock in yourself. Now ask yourself what makes your heart beat fast what is your passion? What kind of environment do you want to work in? Google it and you may just find out that your perfect company is there for you.” With helping others through what I personally went through has reminded me that no matter how difficult the challenge is You/I as the leader have the opportunity to choose how you react to the challenge by staying positive, realistic, compassionate knowing that all solutions will have effect on someone that you are leading.
Anything else you want to add?
Being a leader, I have never forgotten where I came from that young single mom cocktail waitress supporting her family to General Manager. The journey has been filled with peaks and valleys however, the best part is I have passion for what I do and I get to share it with many, day in and day out.