Thank you, Boss

Hospitality industry professionals share brightest moments with their bosses and their leadership mantra as a boss now

Remember your first boss? And the advice they gave you? Well, I do! He just told me to “carefully listen” to what the other person has to say and, honestly, it has helped shape up my journey as a journalist to write better, to understand better and to showcase my work better. 

Just like we have days dedicated to food or family or events, today is Boss’ Day which was registered by Patricia Bays Haroski with the US Chamber of Commerce in 1958. Haroski believed, “Young employees sometimes did not understand the hard work and dedication that their supervisors put into their work and the challenges they faced.” The purpose of celebrating this day is to appreciate your bosses for being kind, compassionate and supportive throughout the year. It was also an attempt to improve the intra-office relationships between a manager and its employee. 

Having a supportive and understanding boss is a blessing to climb the ladder of success yourself and take your oganisation to newer heights. To catch sight of such noble bosses, BW HOTELIER talks to hospitality industry professionals who share their brightest moments with their bosses and now as a boss, how they are faring. 

‘Participate actively, communicate consistently and support the team’

Every individual plays an important role in our career and professional growth. Sheetal Singh, General Manager, Ambassador, New Delhi-IHCL SeleQtions, believes a perfect boss inspires others just by the way they approach problems and guide their team. They inspire by admitting their own areas for improvement and even failed attempts and then, through their optimism and ‘never say die’ spirit, find another way. “Although every boss I worked with has left a footprint in my professional journey of 20 years, I still recall a small piece of advice from my first boss that the ultimate goal for a leader is to realise of one being a true leader only if one is willing to participate actively, communicate consistently and support the team with constructive feedback, particularly when they need it the most personally or professionally,” she says. This piece of advice, she adds, has helped her understand the important criteria of a true motivational manager. 

Reminiscing her first job at Taj Mahal Mumbai, Singh says her boss played a significant role in bringing out her potential to the core as she was supported at every step and was articulated the professional goal of delivering the best results. Now, as a boss, she takes time out to visit her team in their areas of expertise or their offices to take a moment to connect with them on both personal and the professional front in her daily routine. “I believe in being accessible to engage with them and understand their challenges, achievements and ideas. It is great to let the employees know in their quiet moments that how valued they are and recognise their good work. I like to invest in the team’s success, by helping them develop their capabilities and shine. An open-door policy gives them more time and attention,” she adds. 

‘Be honest to what you always do’

Contemplating on which advice to share, Amandeep Grover, General Manager, Hilton Goa Resort, says that he will be unable to pinpoint one advice as it has been loads of them which has helped him reach where he is today. “I always believe your learning is not just from your boss but across all levels alike. One advice I abide by is being honest to what I always do. My boss(es) has always helped instill belief in what I do without worrying too much about the result which has helped me grow as a person and a leader,” he says.  

Now leading the team at Hilton Goa Resort, Grover believes in carrying his team along. “There are always going to be highs and lows but as a leader you need to ensure you stand by them, especially during the lows. We have a great team culture and believe in the true definition of ‘Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM)’. It’s always the little things that matter and we have this culture engrained,” he shares.  

‘Eye for detail, be a jack of all trade’ 

Remembering his first posting at The Ashok, Varanasi, Vijay Dutt says he learned a lot of things from his boss. “Mr Balal, the General Manager then was a great mentor to learn from as he had an eye for detail. He possessed immense knowledge about horticulture as it plays a great role in a hotel. Similarly, he was well-read about fabrics as once we had to get carpets for our hotel and he astonished us with his knowledge on design, weave, quality, texture and number of knots. He led by example, and this imbibed two important lessons for my journey – to have an eye for detail and be a jack of all trades,” puts in the General Manager, The Ashok New Delhi. 

Leading his team with the mantra to ‘never boss around’ and have ‘empathy’, Dutt tends to reach out to the junior-most colleague and take his/ her inputs. “During my inspection rounds, I try to understand their problems at the grass-root level and if they give any idea, I try to implement it. And when you deliver to the grass-root level, they feel happy that their voices are heard. In order to provide better services to the customers, I serve my employees,” he puts in. 

‘Be perseverant’ 

All the way through his journey, Nishant Negi, General Manager of Welcomhotel Dwarka, has been blessed with great mentors. “Perseverance is one great advice that has changed my perception towards work and life. It’s not important to succeed in every task but one must keep trying till you achieve perfection,” he says. Negi’s boss taught him the value of stepping out of his comfort zone and exploring different avenues. 

The support, guidance and learnings from his boss has been enormous, shares the GM of Welcomhotel Dwarka, adding that his boss’ passion for perfectionism made him realise that whatever he thinks that he can do; he can actually do a little better. “He has taught me to put my best foot forward and try things I’ve never done before. He has guided me during my highs and lows and that has kept me going,” Negi shares. 

Now being at the helm of the hotel, he doesn’t believe in micromanaging every task. “I feel my team should have the liberty to comprehend the situation and learn from experiences. Apart from that, we celebrate every achievement and milestone and work together as a tight team during the tough times,” he puts in.  

‘Lead your team from within’ 

Starting his career out as a chef, Rajiv Chopra remembers his stint as a management trainee and tells that on his first day in the kitchen training, he took permission from his boss before leaving for lunch with his batch-mates. “My boss said ‘yes may go, it is your entitlement. But if you go and eat with your team, that way you will get know the nuances of the kitchen with your team.’ I made a note of his advice and sat with my team for lunch. Since then, I always eat with my team because it brings us closer, and I can lead the team from the front. This advice actually shaped my career,” he says. 

Chopra, as General Manager (Corporate Marketing, Public Relations & Social Media) at ITDC, leads his team by always standing with them. “I do not make my team realise that I am the boss. I am with the team collectively to decide something and put it in action. The idea is to be in it together,” says Chopra.

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