Congratulations to our Alumni of the Month for November: Scott Bear (2017) who is currently the Assistant Guest Services Manager at the Park Hyatt Sydney
How has your current role developed your leadership and people management skills?
My main role is to focus on the guest experience and how expectations within the hotel can be exceeded for each individual guest. A key area of development that I have experienced in this role is with people management, both within my team as well as across the entire organisation. I have realised that not everyone learns the same way and that we must personalise our conversations and teaching methods to suit each colleague instead of being stubborn in thinking “one shoe fits all”. I have also learnt that not everyone wants a career in hospitality, and we need to be innovative in how we go about getting the best out of these types of employees. During COVID-19 my leadership skills and patience have been tested. To lead a team through something no-one has ever experienced presented a monumental challenge, however it has taught me a lot about resilience, being grateful for what we have and finding different ways to motivate individuals.
What are the greatest challenges you have faced this year?
These past eight months have been a rollercoaster! Park Hyatt Sydney was not a quarantine hotel however we did stay open for the entirety of the year. Some of the jobs that I completed included: painting every office within the hotel; cleaning the hotel driveway; being “shift engineer”; and fixing any A/C, TV or electrical issues in the rooms. Although it was tough, I appreciated and am grateful for the opportunity that was presented to me knowing how many of my colleagues were stood down and without a job. The biggest challenge this year has been motivating and keeping a positive environment at the hotel. As a team we will get through it and by encouraging open communication and expressing our feelings, this will allow for a better understanding of each other’s current state of mind. Our generation has never experienced anything quite like this and even more so for the hospitality industry, but I know that we will recover, we will bounce back better than before and the resilience we have built will make us better hoteliers and overall better people.
What are your professional goals for the future?
This year has shaken up my career goals. However, when you adapt, you can overcome these changes and focus on set goals. As with many people in the industry, my main goal is to become a General Manager of a five-star boutique hotel. The sensation of providing top class service and exceeding expectations whilst being authentic to me is what hospitality is all about and it is my goal to be able to lead and inspire a team to do exactly that. I hope to travel and work my way across multiple hotels around the globe and long term I would love to go into the corporate side of hotels and work as a Senior Executive of a large hotel chain. l also aim to be a mentor and inspiration to those entering the hospitality industry. I think our greatest opportunity in life is to shape the life of someone else and improve their chances of being the best version of themselves. I hope that through my work within the industry and across my career I will be able to have an impact on dozens of up-and-coming hospitality professionals.
What is the most memorable advice you have received?
This was from Justin King (2003) (GM at Vomo Island Resort) at my Graduation ceremony where he advised “stop chasing job titles and chase experiences”. Even though my aforementioned goals had a lot to do with hitting job titles, I think my focus now is how I can be an inspiration and impact others in the industry. I have had my fair share of starstruck meetings with celebrities, holidays to amazing countries staying at hotels within my brand, connections built with guests that have stayed at the hotel and strong friendships made with colleagues from countries I never knew existed prior to meeting them. These are memories and experiences that very few industries can provide. Justin hit the nail on the head when he said, “Don’t be held back from adventures because your next promotion MAY be around the corner”. There will always be room for growth and success in your career but not always the opportunities to live whilst working and that is the most important thing to remember. We do not live to work, we work to live and for us in hospitality, we get to live whilst working.
Tell us about your involvement in charitable causes.
During my Corporate Leadership Trainee program with Park Hyatt Sydney in 2017, I found a love for helping those in need whilst participating in Hyatt Month of Service. We fed the homeless, provided clothing for less fortunate women entering the workforce and wrote birthday cards to children with cancer on behalf of Camp Quality. In September, I vowed to take 15,000 steps a day for STEPtember raising money and awareness for people living with cerebral palsy. This month I am taking part in Movember and have grown a Mo to raise money for men experiencing mental health battles, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. For the first time ever, we received approval from the hotel to have a team of employees participate to raise funds for this great cause. The money and awareness raised for these charities will prove the world of difference, even if it is just for a select few amount of people.
What will the holiday season look like for you and your loved ones this year?
I love working on New Year’s Eve because there really isn’t a better location to be than Park Hyatt Sydney so I imagine that is where you will find me at midnight on the 31st December. I may be spending a large amount of time working over Christmas however I hope to take a day or two off to catch up with the family and those most important to me – it’s been tough to catch up with everyone this year. I continue to remind myself that it is always so important to have the work-life balance and Christmas is the best time to ensure we incorporate this into our lives. Maybe I will fit in a game of golf in between all of the above.