By: Tommy Beyer
Who doesn’t like to win? I enjoy watching sportscar racing and it isn’t necessarily the fastest cars that win but the car with the best team behind it. The win goes to the crew that took the time to develop and carry out a great strategy, and this same theme applies to all those managers looking to advance their careers in hospitality.
Reflecting upon my now decade-and-a-half ascent through the ranks of hotel management to general manager and to a vice president position at Newport Hospitality Group, like any formula one driver I know that there’s more to this rise than mere speed. Here are three big takeaways that you learn from.
I’ve supervised numerous personalities by now and the individuals who have gone on to be successful were always the ones who were nimble and responsive. Similarly, I have worked for a number of supervisors and the ones who I ended up respecting the most were those who took the time to answer my emails or messages in a timely fashion.
Being responsive is something that can easily be learned until it’s a habit. During annual evaluations, the general managers under my purview who are ultra-responsive tend to have a better score overall and in turn are in line for a better pay raise. When building your personal brand, this is a fantastic trait to be known for.
In its most fundamental form, being responsive is a way of showing respect to the person who sent the request in the first place. As a simple rule of thumb, reply to all emails within the same working day. A call or text message should be replied to a bit quicker as the sender is likely looking for a faster comeback. If you are unsure if you are being responsive, ask your supervisor, spouse or a close friend.
Everywhere you look you can find examples where a lack of integrity has caused someone to be fired, divorced or sued, or possibly all three! Each time someone has a failure in integrity, his or her actions are likely to cost a company money or at the very least damage its reputation.
Your supervisor has to know that you can be trusted at all times. Whether or not they are around or if they don’t speak to you for a few days, they should know without question that your actions are in the best interest of the hotel. And again, this is a trait best learned early on.
When you think about self-branding and about different ways to get ahead in your career, simply being known as the person who will always take the high road is a surefire way to put you ahead of others in the workplace. If you find yourself unsure of what is the right decision to make, act as if someone you truly cared about is watching. While we’re taking about winning, ultimately integrity is more than this; it’s about being a good person.
Those who have an affinity for learning and an insatiably curious mind have a natural leg up on the competition. For some, the consummative practice of deliberate education may be repulsive, while others get excited to stretch their minds.
During a recent company event, we decided to have some of our general managers and directors of sales participate in a mock hotel simulation whereby they would compete against their other partners in the company and see who had the most successful property. The results were then revealed at our annual leadership conference.
Some hoteliers were fuming angry about the fact that they had to run a mock hotel as well as their own. Obviously, these were the ones who did not intrinsically enjoy learning. Others were completely engaged. This latter group took the time to schedule calls with their teammates and strategized on how to outperform the competition, treating the exercise with the utmost respect and stretching their cerebral muscles in the process.
Having a love for learning will serve you well in your career as well as for all aspects in life. Be mindful, though, that everyone learns a bit differently. If you despise the idea of formal classroom training, try to get more tactile. The subject at hand does not necessarily have to be intertwined with your career, but by opening your mind to new thoughts and concepts you can find ways to break out of your old routines, and then be able to leverage those ideas for your career goals.
Focusing in on these three principles of responsiveness, integrity and learning will result in a hospitality career that is especially rewarding, both through promotions as well as people singing your praises behind your back. Always keep these three on the top of your mind in order to keep your immediate supervisors aware of your hard work and your prospects for greater responsibilities in your hospitality organization. At the very least, with these three you will know that you did the right thing and showed the utmost respect in every situation.
Tommy Beyer has a degree in hospitality management from the University of South Carolina. He has also completed the PDP Program at Cornell and is a Certified Hospitality Administrator from AH&LEF. For over a decade, he’s been a vital component of Newport Hospitality Group’s success, progressing from Front Desk Associate to General Manager and finally to his current role as Vice President of Regional Operations. Tommy’s keen understanding of the financial intricacies of each property have helped him to not only drive asset value for the properties he manages but also to win many prestigious awards including the Top 30 Under 30 by Hotel Management, the Stevan Porter Emerging Hospitality Leader of the Year by AH&LA and Georgia GM of the Year.