Once in a while, you meet folks with the right attitude, skills, and self-drive. These are people any executive dreams of. People with the right attitude always go far because they look at the silver lining in any situation. Whereas other people love to travel just to earn per diem, winners travel to look for opportunities, network and explore new possibilities. I learn a lot looking at the automation in the kitchen of some of the top hotels. You need to get a back-office tour of the laundry processes, for example, to appreciate the power of automation. As a consultant, insights I get after say a kitchen tour, I can apply that to solving a real client problem by guiding them on the logical processes flow.
In 2014, I got a job to facilitate an off-site strategy retreat. The good old days of no Coronavirus. One of the reasons I love this job is the ability to be exposed and relax at some great locations with brilliant people. I decided early on never to suffer while off-site during project implementation. If the client offers an average hotel room, I usually upgrade at my cost. No need to transfer the cost of your tastes to the client. At one time, about four of my clients held retreats at the same hotel. After the first week with one client, I asked to see the hotel manager. I met him and explained how I will stay at the hotel for the next 20 days, facilitating strategy retreats and that I had recommended all the clients. And it was telling the truth. He was so excited. He offered to upgrade my room to the best available. With the right attitude, one can see through the wall, while most people look at the wall. That big picture of mind focus is rare, yet it gives an edge.
It is my practice to always request for the kitchen tour at any good hotel I visit. I have done this successfully in many hotels in Asia and the UAE. My success rate has always averaged 40%. And there are almost no risks apart from receiving a no. Late 2019 in Dubai the manager became suspicious that I could be connected to the suicide bombers. I had to request for a tour of the penthouse at the top of the restaurant to see whether it was fit for my client, “a senior businessman” who was planning a trip. I have informed the two penthouses at the hotel had already been booked for three years in advance, so they could only show me the VIP suite to get an idea of the Penthouse.
I said yes.
Exposure is the best teacher. You can see what is possible in colour, firsthand. The suite setup, quality of fittings. The arrangement and the panoramic view of the city were exceptional. Folks with money indeed enjoy. Thanks to the exposures I have had over the years, in some of the finest hotels. I now know the difference between an average room and a VIP suite is the floor space available. The ability to receive guests in separate rooms and the security precautions inbuilt into the room and the exclusivity of it all. The penthouse floor is exclusive and has security guards, extra military-grade security within the hotel, and of course, the exclusive hotel offers that are not accessible by you small people. Look at a penthouse like a high-end family bungalow with many rooms enough for eight people.
Find ways to learn on the job innovatively. Always be on the lookout to win.
May you start looking at your job differently. You can always win.
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.