What does a day-in-the-life of a general manager look like for an international hotel chain?
We do not have any “normal” day. In general there are always a guest to catch up with, being regular loyal guest to welcome, a guest who congratulates us for the stay or simply a guest that provides constructive feedback. In addition we have to be available for our TM being for internal activities, being challenges that may arise or simply going out to fill our duties with our local communities. All of that with the regular share of technical meetings, walking the building to ensure that the installations are ready and fit for our guests and TM’s alike. An now and then scrap 5 minutes here and there to ensure the emails do not pile up to much!!!
How would you describe your management and leadership style?
I like to be approachable, I like to keep the contact with the guest and TM’s. We are an industry from people, for people through people so the human factor is key. In addition travelling is a multicultural experience hence adaptability is to the different cultures at every moment is my way to be. In addition I wouldn’t ask anyone to perform a task that I wouldn’t do neither I wouldn’t know how to do. And above all, a huge respect for the team I am working with.
Do you believe there is a type of “personality” needed to do the job you do?
Well certainly we are not doing a physically or technically high demanding job, neither a job that requires high levels of intellectual skills. It does demand a faire share of passion for the job, it requires flexibility in terms of timing and above all it requires an open and curiosity mind to be a General Manager.
What are the top highlights of your professional journey? What doorways has it opened up?
I did work on 10 countries and lived on 13 cities and to me this shaped my vision of the world, my acceptance of other cultures. It certainly helped me to see life in different lenses and it has a direct reflex on the way I approach my job. I always say that if I would have stayed home, I wouldn’t be able to reach my actual job. In addition in all those place I met extraordinary people and in one of them my lifetime partner!!!
Where do you envision yourself in the next decade? What do you hope to accomplish?
For the next 10 year I see myself continuing the long journey I started with Hilton 25 years ago. I see myself in another property, in another brand. Knowing and meeting more people and learning from their culture and traditions.
Have you always known you would go into hospitality? What initially sparked your interest?
I did my 1st omelet when I was 5 years old then I wanted to be Chef and since I was kid I loved to run in the kitchen where we used to spend our school holidays. That opened the hospitality industry to me. Still now, the kitchen is my relaxing time, on weekends I can spend 4-5 hours preparing and cooking. If I need to de-stress, you certainly will find me in my pots and pans.
With Bali being a hot tourist spot, how does the island’s hospitality industry go above-and-beyond to WOW travelers from all backgrounds and walks of life?
It is true that Bali is one of the few destinations that can offer a full variety of choices for all kind of publics. From the guest house for those on tight budgets to the full luxury establishments in Nusa Dua. And that to me is one of the ways forward, this specialization. Travel industry risk to become a commodity where there is not differentiation between the different products. As Bali already have that differentiation, we just need to ensure it is clear and available to everyone.
How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?
Thrive. Although I understand the need to working on odd times throughout the day I do not believe on working 18 hours a day, 7 days a week. I like the time for myself (going to the gym, reading or cooking), time for the family and time at work. So unless is absolutely necessary I do not work more than 10 hours in the office. I keep contact with the hotel and trust the team good judgment to handle the day-to-day activity.
Do you like sticking to a routine? Or going with the flow?
I go with the flow!!! I can’t stand a routinely work. That’s probably the reason I have been changing job every 2 years. Routine kills creativity, drains energies and doesn’t allow advancement in life, professionally and personally!!!
If you could go on a long holiday anywhere in the world, where would you go, and what would you do?
I would like to go where we can combine few of the passions. A place with history, with a strong culture and personality where I can visit and learn their history, can enjoy their cuisine. Some place that I can do some physical trekking visiting the country around. And lastly a place where I could spend a couple of days on the beach, sun bathing, swimming!!! Find me the place!!!