Friday, July 27, 2018

Developing Leaders, Changing Lives

This week, we celebrated our Management Development Program (MDP) graduating class. As their final assignment, each member gave a presentation to our leadership team, providing an overview of the individual projects they completed during the nine-month course. I’m always impressed by the level of professionalism these associates develop over the short period of time they are in MDP, but this week’s presentations were something to write home about (or in this case, to blog about)! 

When the presentations were finished, I found myself downloading with the rest of my team, discussing the great projects we’d heard. Even more so, discussing the level of talent each of the associates possess and the unique skillsets they each bring to the table because of their diverse backgrounds. 

Some of you may know that I was a student of Sheraton’s hotel management training program early in my career and my experience was life-changing. It resulted in my own passion for developing others, though at the time, I had no idea to what extent that vision would become reality.  

Today, Hotel Equities has an extensive offering of world-class hotel management training programs available to associates, students and recent college graduates interested in continuing their growth in the hospitality industry. I have stories of one-on-one mentoring experiences throughout the years, and stories of HE’s training program graduates… housekeepers becoming senior vice presidents and doormen becoming award-winning general managers. 

As leaders, it’s our job to develop others and to never allow an associate’s potential to go unnoticed. I hope you are taking an active interest in the growth and success of those you lead.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Have you ever asked yourself “Why am I here?”

I think it’s a question that surfaces in each of us at some point in our life.  I call it the search for significance.  We hope that when we leave this earth, we will have made a difference.

Life shouldn’t be just about making more money, buying a bigger home or having a selection of cars in the garage. It may include those things, but it must be more. 

First, we must recognize our strengths, based on our God-given gifts and talents.  Then we must choose to utilize those strengths by developing a servant attitude whereby we can help others improve their lot. Until we begin to utilize our gifts in that manner, we typically feel empty, restless and uncertain of our true calling and purpose. 

Beyond our family and friends, we have the greatest opportunity to influence others at our place of work… guests/customers, fellow associates, subordinates, bosses, peers, vendors, owners, competitors and the like. The ultimate reward is the opportunity to make a meaningful, significant and positive difference in their lives.

Once we embrace our gifts and talents and find a workplace where we can exercise them in a manner which lifts others, we are made whole. Only then do we discover the real reason why we are here.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Tools of a Leader: "Stick With It!"

I was recently asked what quality I have that I felt most attributed to my career. My response was easy, it’s my ability to stick with it. I have considered throwing in the towel on a project many times, but my drive to see things through always wins out.

At this point in my career, I know that any good deal dies ten deaths before it comes to life. For instance, our Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton-Atlanta Perimeter Dunwoody nearly never got off the ground. However, the hotel celebrated its one-year anniversary this month and today it ranks #2 out of 174 hotels in Atlanta on TripAdvisor. 

While it wasn’t always easy for me to accept the lengthy delays, I did gain another valuable quality: patience. Deals won’t always come to fruition in your time frame, but they will when the time is right.

Do your research, involve your team of experts, don’t take rejection personally, practice patience and if you believe in the project, stick with it!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Never Work a Day in your Life

I know I’m a lucky man. For more than 40 years, I have loved my job.  As many of you may know, I took a post at a hotel in Boston, my home town, while waiting to go to Vietnam.  Orders changed, my unit wasn’t called up, I found my passion in hospitality and I’ve been in the business ever since.
Look at our associates pictured throughout our recent newsletter. From award winners to volunteers involved in community service, I see the faces of people who I think have also found their passion.  Wise men from Confucius to my grandfather have shared the same advice. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
HE's Recent MDP Graduating Class
Another observation comes to mind.  People who love what they do, want to do it well.  They want to learn how to gain skills and advance in their careers.  I’m proud of the fact that Hotel Equities provides training for associates at all levels.  We encourage growth and reward achievement.  Congratulations to the seventh class of associates who recently completed our Management Development Program.
Do you love your job?  I challenge you to embrace your passion, pursue every opportunity available to you, and enjoy a long and prosperous career.

Coach Fred

Monday, May 16, 2016

“Tools of a Leader: Consider a Sacrifice Bunt”

I want to share some thoughts on Hotel Equities’ Value Statement #5, “The greatest leaders are the greatest servants.”

It’s no secret that I’m a huge baseball fan. I’ve loved the game for as long as I can remember. Like many kids, I played Little League and started collecting baseball cards while growing up in Boston.  I also played organized baseball in the Babe Ruth League, in high school and for two years on a semi-pro baseball team. Now, I am blessed by getting to enjoy following my grandson Eli White’s career as the current shortstop for the nationally ranked Clemson Tigers. Baseball is in my blood.

Like many of you who have had the opportunity to play organized sports, I’ve learned a lot about leadership from the game.  Consider the sacrifice bunt.  Knowing that he will likely be thrown out and, knowing that his batting average may be negatively impacted should he not succeed in putting down a near perfect bunt, the batter must put the ball in play in order to advance the base runner and allow him to be in a better position to score a run for the good of the team.

As leaders, we are often called on to sacrifice our time and efforts to do things that put our team in a better place. The next time you are faced with a leadership decision, consider a sacrifice bunt.

Fred Cerrone
Chairman & CEO

Monday, April 18, 2016

Tools of a Leader: Inspect What You Expect

Before starting Hotel Equities, I was fortunate enough to work for some of the top firms in the industry. I started with the Sheraton Management Training Program, the best in the business at the time.  I learned the basics of hotel management and also had the opportunity to observe my instructors and mentors and learn about leadership and their styles of leadership.
I don’t believe anyone begins a new job with the intention of doing poorly. Good leadership comes into play the very first day on the job and often dictates the level of success of the new team member. To get any job done well, you have to set clear expectations. Then comes the follow up, as expressed in Hotel Equities’ Value Statement #4: “Inspect what you expect.”
At Hotel Equities, the leadership team for training recently instituted an onboarding process that brings new general managers and corporate leaders to the corporate office to meet face-to-face with key corporate personnel who serve as coaches.  Over a two-day period, they review culture, policy and procedures in a series of meetings but, more importantly, they also begin building relationships with those team members who they will work with in the future.  Expectations are defined. Plans for follow-up [inspections] are laid.
Multiple team members will monitor, check in, make calls and generally inspect those expectations set during hiring and onboarding.  Follow-up happens, even when things appear to be going well.
For all associates, from housekeepers to vice presidents, we set expectations and inspections for every position and every task in an intentional effort to produce, ‘Excellence in Hospitality’.

Fred Cerrone
Chairman & CEO
Hotel Equities

Monday, April 4, 2016

Tools of a Leader: Teach Them the Business

One of my favorite leadership coaches, John Maxwell, put it this way, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.”  As head coach of our team of associates, I believe it’s critical that we “Hire an attitude and teach them the business,” as expressed in our firm’s Value Statement #3.
Several years ago, Hotel Equities began a Management Development Program designed to grow talent within the company.   To date, six classes, each with five or six members, have completed the classwork. Over 70 percent of the graduates have moved into bigger, more responsible roles in the firm.
Last fall, we introduced a Leadership Development Program targeting associates with multi-unit responsibilities.  We tapped rising stars, under the guidance of our Vice President of Learning & People Development, to meet for discussions, take on assignments and work with senior leaders who mentor them in all aspects of the hotel business.
As the product of a corporate-sponsored management training program myself, I am committed to supporting and teaching in our training programs because I believe they are vital to our firm’s future.
Within our company, opportunities abound daily for each of us to ‘show the way’ and ‘teach the business’.   We learned from those who led us.  Now it’s our turn to teach the people we lead.

Fred Cerrone,
Chairman & CEO

Welcome to Fred Cerrone's Blog

Welcome to “Stuff Worth Sharing”! It is our hope that this blog will help you to know more about our Founder & Chairman, Fred Cerrone, as well as gain some insight into his vision and dreams for Hotel Equities. We welcome your feedback as well as any topics that you would like Fred to cover. Thanks for all you do to help make Hotel Equities a success!

Read More