BMIHMS recently caught up with 2008 graduate Ben Lancken. Ben recently moved to Berlin, Germany to continue his career with Toga Far East Hotels (TFE) as Director of Learning and Operational Excellence – Europe. Prior to taking on his new role Ben was the Learning & Organisational Development Manager, based in Sydney. His career has continued to grow through extensive experience managing hotels with TFE.
What are your first impressions of living overseas in Germany?
Every day is a school day! There is so much to learn and absorb, particularly in a non-English speaking country. Everything that you normally take for granted is going to be that little bit more difficult. All part of the fun!
Your favourite part of the day?
Early morning. I am an early riser and like to take advantage of an uninterrupted hour or two before the workday officially kicks off. This is when I am most productive! Also, breakfast is my favourite meal of the day.
Your number one hospitality grievance?
One of my pet peeves is the location of power points in hotel rooms. We just can’t seem to get it right. There is nothing worse than having to pull the bed out to connect a phone charger, or to climb under a desk to connect your laptop. Everyone travels with multiple devices – let’s make it easy for them!
A leader that you admire and respect?
Eddie Mabo – When the British Empire arrived in Australia in the late 18th century they believed the country was ‘terra nullius’ – no one’s land. Eddie Mabo Changed that forever. Working as a gardener at James Cook University he met a lawyer who offered to help him make a case challenging the claim of ‘terra nullius’.
After a 10-year battle Eddie lost the case. Convinced he was right, he took his claim to the High Court of Australia. Weary from the court case and battling cancer, he died in January 1992. Five months later the High Court of Australia ruled in his favour, determining that the land does belong to the indigenous people. Apart from changing the law, Mabo’s very public struggle also educated many Australians about the true spiritual bond the indigenous people have with the land beneath us.
What motivates you to succeed?
Helping people achieve more than they ever thought they could. Supporting others to grow and develop, both professionally and personally. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the success of people you have lead, mentored and coached over the years.
Sounds like Ben’s new role is perfect for him, we wish him all the best/BMIHMS