Which habits should hoteliers leave in the past and which ones should they continue to develop

By  Celeste Johnson

Facebook had a 10-year challenge during December, where one would choose a photo from 10 years ago and one from today to see what people looked like then versus now.

This challenge had me thinking hard about my career. What was I doing 10 years ago? I was a room attendant, night auditor and front-desk agent still learning the ropes of the business. Juggling a full understanding. The question that I frequently remember asking my GM at the time was, “What more can I learn?” That question continues to fuel me, but with time it has dimmed a bit as I continued to advance in my roles. Less time for learning next steps, less down time for curiosity and less people available to “teach.” But where do I play the role in my improvement?

As I regroup and take on 2020, I asked myself what am I doing that is helping me grow? As GMs, it can be tough, but if we’re not growing and improving, we’re only existing. I’m not interested in just being here. I am interested in driving my career and others to be their best selves.

Here are some ways I am committed to improving myself at the beginning of this decade.

1. Spend more time in rooms We are in the business of rooms; it gets very comfortable to get caught up in doing our work at our desk. I found that the more time I spend concentrating on rooms, the harder the team works to keep them looking good. The interesting piece is I am still able to get all my work completed in a timely order.

2. Exposing the assistant GM to more understanding of budgeting and revenue While my assistant GM knows our numbers, she may not understand how we came up with them. My goal is to give her an area where she’s solely responsible for goals and work her to get where we want to be.

3. Leave the building Get out of the hotel at least two to three times per week during the day. I want to do something productive outside. Coupled with that is leaving at a decent hour at least three times a week. I can easily find myself in the building from 8a.m. to 8p.m. This will help me refresh my brain.

4. Continue to eat lunch away from my desk Now this one was a goal in 2019. I have somewhat succeeded at least two or three times per week, and I intend to keep this up. Paying attention to what I am eating is important and paying attention to what I am working on is important. Neither one of these will get done in the most optimal way if not. Sometimes I’m in a little corner of the lobby, sometimes in the breakroom with associates or even sometimes just sitting in an unused meeting room. Carve out the time.

5. Ask for what I need, not when I need it, but along the way I have realized that I may ask at the last minute for input from my supervisor or colleagues. Sometimes I am unable to get those resources, and I do without.

6. Grow my network Spend time developing relationships with other GMs to bounce ideas and learning opportunities off each other.

7. Be more involved outside of the hotel in the area I serve on a couple committees, which don’t require a great deal of time. However, in 2020 I’m challenging myself to commit to play an active role.

8. Go to the gym Now some may believe this is not connected. I feel that for me it is. The gym helps clear my head after work, giving me room for new ideas.

I know I may be potentially exposing myself to judgement and criticism, but if this helps at least one person, I’m OK with that.

I heard a quite fitting quote recently by John Addison that hits the nail on the head: “You’re either green and growing or you’re ripe and rotting.” There’s no better time than a new year to kick ourselves into gear.

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