How to run a place successfully
Steve Jones, general manager of Wyboston Lakes Resort, says management structure and industry experience are key to successfully running a site.
Reflecting on my nearly 25 years of experience managing, directing and owning multiple hotels and venues, the time a business begins to turn around or make significant progress is when the right team is in place and working together cohesively.
My role is therefore to be the cement that unites the team and to facilitate the definition of the strategic direction that we are going to take.
Once the right structure and management team are in place and working effectively, it is much easier for a venue to manage both short-term crises and longer-term issues, as well as manage major changes planned with minimal disruption to the business.
I believe in a flat structure with a management team of up to 10 people, clearly defined roles, all reporting directly to the CEO.
It is essential to develop a team bond at least as strong as their commitment to their own teams because this generates unity, trust, openness and loyalty.
This allows them to give their opinion and support each other without creating resentment. It also sets an example for their departmental teams that encourages them to work together and collaborate rather than thinking and operating in silos.
What qualities do I look for in the people I hire to run a convention, meeting and event venue?
First, a proven track record of success in their specialty in this industry is essential for most management positions, especially when it comes to revitalizing a property. It’s a unique industry with its own ways of working, its own terminology and its own specialists – event organizers, agencies, associations, suppliers and media. Getting to know and understand the people in the industry and the distinctive way it works takes time and is vital.
I’m also looking for ambitious people who are focused on operating at an industry-leading level and making the site “best in class”. Beyond these qualities, I am looking for a team player who will always put what is best for the company before his personal goals and interests.
These are just three of the most important qualities in senior management that I believe are essential to moving a place forward, regardless of its starting position.
From a CEO’s perspective, it is much easier to run a place and ensure success when the senior management structure works and good people are employed in roles in which they excel.