What do you look for in young leaders?
I would look for people with the right attitude, strong values and an ability to articulate their thoughts clearly. Skills can be easily taught, but values and attitude cannot be learnt in a classroom.
How can employees make a lasting impression on you at work?
Be consistent. Being consistent means I can rely on them and know exactly when and how I can call upon them for a task or project. This builds trust and strengthens our working relationship.
How can employees add value to their work?
Give your boss regular updates of the progress you are making – let them know of the great work you are doing and also give advance notice for any potential challenge you foresee you may run in to. This gives them assurance that the project is on track and also provides sufficient lead time in the event they need to assist with the potential hurdles that may pop up.
What is your one trait which you think has led to your career success?
Through my career journey, I have been very fortunate to have had many career mentors who were great listeners and trusted advisors. They were people I could bounce ideas off and gain insight and perspectives into the situation. My keenness to seek out and receive counsel has definitely helped me to learn from the mistakes of others and gain from their experience.
Best career advice you’ve ever received?
In the late 1970s, at a particular crossroad of my career, when I was exploring a possible manager job or director job opportunity, one of my mentors, Moris deRohan wisely advised me: Antony, what exactly do you want to achieve in your career? After you have answered that, then ask yourself, “Will this job get me there faster or take me off track?” It was with this advice in mind that I have analysed all future job opportunities and it has paid off richly.
What was one of your biggest challenges that you’ve faced in your career?
This has got to be the time I was Spotless Catering’s Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Manager and preparing for the arrival of my second daughter, while pursuing my MBA and caring for my Dad as he battled a medical condition. It was demanding at every level. Having to juggle different challenges thrown at me from multiple sources and balancing all the priorities before me was certainly a career defining moment for me. Having overcome this through effective delegation and empowerment of my associates, it has prepared me to take on bigger challenges in my career.
What drives your motivation at work?
Team success. There is no pleasure in celebrating one’s success because you cannot share that with anyone else. When my team succeeds, I derive immense satisfaction knowing that all of us have reached that common goal and they have every reason to celebrate together.
What is one skill you think you would need in the future for your role?
In the hospitality industry, people are our key asset. It is really all about taking good care of our associates because they will then take good care of the customers and the business will keep coming back. This is and continues to be the philosophy upon which Marriott International operates on. As a General Manager, it is imperative to develop and retain talent for the Hotel to continue to be successful. This means having a measure of patience and commitment to people development. Very often it seems that doing the job myself would be a faster way to get the task completed; but that denies my associates a learning opportunity and in the process undermine the trust between us.