Following a recent interview with a facility’s chief engineer, I had the opportunity to meet the hotel’s general manager. He was a twenty-five year plus veteran in hotel administration and operations.
One might have assumed that he was inflexible – resistant to change. That would have been an unfair assumption.
Within minutes, he started to fire “what if” situations at me with lightning speed and engineering exactness. It was obvious that he was seriously interested in acting upon any suggestion that was do-able there.
I’d done my homework previous to keeping the appointment. Also, I’d walked around the property for over forty-five minutes the day before. Eyeing things up close, and further away.
Still, how many hotel general managers possess that level of interest in looking at something from a painter’s point of view? Generally, don’t they leave that to the head of engineering or facilities?
How many GMs possess any more than a basic level of understanding of a painter’s job? Or, want to know more?
A week after the interview, that hotel’s chief engineer phoned. At 7:30 at night. He said that the hotel had withdrawn the posted painter job. He explained why.
“Well, Bob, several of your suggestions made so much sense that the GM sat down with me after you left.”
He said that they would be acting on one suggestion that same week. He added that he and the GM had come up with a plan to keep their painter right there. And, to keep him happy, healthy and safe!
“We want to thank you. Let us know if we can return the favor. You’re welcome here any time.”
Periodically, I read online articles and blogs about leadership. Most are factual and fair. A few are harsh, and paint a shaded picture of our leaders today. Many of these same writings lean in favor of the persons that do the “grunt work.” Employees like I. That’s great as long as the shoe fits.
One size never fits all. And, as most of my experience with leaders has shown, it helps to stand in their shoes. At least once. Even for a few minutes. And, to view a situation from their vantage point.
I must say that it sure felt great when that five-star hotel GM did that for a member of his team – a member of my “painter” trade. Many thanks!
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Have you ever walked in your boss’s shoes? Try it!
Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”