From the Board: Character Study
As I look back to some of the leaders I have served under during my career, there is one common thing that I remember most: the content of their character. Each of them molded and mentored me, knowingly or not, through their daily actions and conversations. These leaders honed my abilities and mindset with enormous influence.
Think back to the individuals who had the biggest impact on you professionally. There are those who inspire through their motivational montages and others who have a drive for success that is so intense you struggle to keep up with them. The person who has had the greatest positive influence on me was an F&B director who exhibited one key trait: honesty. He was the rare type of person who was very open about his shortcomings, but revealing his weaknesses somehow made him stronger. Given the fact that he didn’t waste time hiding his imperfections, he was able to utilize the strengths of others to compensate for these weaknesses, and his team respected him for it.
When you were not performing up to par, he would let you know—no sugarcoating, just sincere, objective feedback. He explained to me that people do not get better until they are told what they are doing wrong and are challenged to overcome it. Seems like a pretty simple philosophy, right? However, many of us get so wrapped up in what we need to accomplish that we forget to give that honest feedback to those who rely on us to help them grow. Sometimes just demonstrating that you are invested in their individual success is enough to motivate people to greatness.
As I advance in my career, I realize the importance of being transparent and genuine. These attributes inspire trust, confidence, and respect. They also encourage others to match the passion and commitment you put forth, while being able to relate to the same challenges you face. Like it or not, nothing will motivate your team more than when they feel as though they can trust you to lead them.
What does your character portray to your team? The example we set in our everyday interactions speaks louder than anything else. People can see through us like a sheet of glass, so be the person who we want our associates to be. Strive to be an oak tree and watch as the acorns you produce grow into a mighty forest around you.Ron Wichowski
Director of Operations
Marriott Hartford (Connecticut)
Downtown and Member National Hotel F&B Council