Reflections….on those who have impacted our careers
There is one section of HoganHospitality.com that I have begun to allow me the opportunity to “reflect” on some of those people who have positively impacted my career. While these reflections will be of people that I have known, I encourage you to think back on the people who contributed to the person you are today.
“Our business life is not to get ahead of others,
but to get ahead of ourselves…
to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterdays by our today,
to do our work with more force than ever before.”
Stewart B Johnson
3. Natividad Cruz – Sheraton Boston
After graduation from the Hotel Administration Program at the University of Massachusetts, I accepted a position as a management trainee at was then a 1,000 rooms at the flagship Sheraton Boston. My assignments included service as day manager in the Falstaff Room (main dining room), housekeeping supervision, night auditor, a wide range of front office roles, hotel evening and weekend Manager-On-Duty and pool manager.
There was one additional position that perhaps taught me the most, because it was something I had not been prepared for and because it exposed me to very different experiences and people.
My eight months as Executive Steward was challenging and demanding, in that I found myself responsible for 85+ dishwashers, pot cleaners, set-up staff, and stewards. Department responsibilities included cleaning for a huge banquet kitchen, 3 restaurants, 4 lounges, a stand-alone kosher kitchen, silver polishing center, making coffee for literally thousands daily and more. This was a new experience for me, and the fact that less than 10% of the staff spoke English made the task that much more daunting.
Many of the stewards came from Puerto Rico and were legal residents, but were struggling to support their families on entry level jobs with limited potential for advancement. Some of the many lessons I learned came from my relationship with an individual named Natividad Cruz. He started in an hourly position but stood out immediately as someone who wanted to do and be more. He was slightly older than I and it helped me that he spoke some English, but what I learned from him was an appreciation for others who were trying to survive in unfamiliar territories. He and I learned together and from each other certain ways to make cultural diversity real.
Natividad was able to see that there might be potential with commitment and after less than 90 days in the department, I was able to break with some organizational “protocol” and promote him to Assistant Executive Steward. Three months later, he was recognized by the hotel as its first ever EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH from that department.
I have never forgotten the lessons I learned from this caring person, who shared his values, his culture and his professional friendship.
Success does not come by accident or chance.
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John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com or 602-799-5375
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|KEYS TO SUCCESS is the umbrella title for my 2011 programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my “HOW TO” articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS™, Lessons from the Field™, Hotel Common Sense™ , THE P-A-R PRINCIPLE™ and Principles for Success.|
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John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is Co-Founder of www.HospitalityEducators.com , which delivers focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today.
Consulting Expertise and Research Interest
- Professional Development for the Organization and the Individual
- Customer Service
- Making Cultural Diversity Real
- Developing Academic Hospitality programs
- Medical Lodging Consulting
- Sales Management and training
- Turn-around and revenue management
If you need assistance in any of these areas or simply an independent review or opinion on a hospitality challenge, contact me directly for a prompt response and very personalized attention.
www.HospitalityEducators.com is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.
Your Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations.
This section is included to allow me the opportunity to “reflect” on some of those people who have positively impacted my career. While these reflections will be of people that I have known, I encourage you to think back on the people who contributed to the person you are today.