Thursday, June 13, 2019

Learning to Succeed



This past week, Hotel Equities graduated its tenth class from the Management Development Program [MDP]. This program is one of five current training programs being offered, with a sixth in the pipeline. MDP follows in line with Hotel Equities’ third Value Statement, “Hire an attitude and teach them the business.” Learning and development is defined as “improving group and individual performance by honing skills and increasing knowledge”. During the Management Development Program, individuals must complete twenty-two self-directed modules that provide them an insight into the operational side of working in a hotel. In addition to the modules, they each must complete a self-designed and implemented project which either increases revenue or decreases expenses at their hotel equal to the approximate cost of their training.

I can’t over emphasize how critical it is to seek opportunities to continue education in order to grow both personally and in your career development. I truly believe that training is a key stepping stone to our long term success.

All of the training programs offered at Hotel Equities are taught through experiential learning, defined as the process of learning through experience. Research shows that there are three reasons why experiential learning is most effective; [1] it accelerates learning, [2] it increases levels of engagement with others and [3] it enables self-paced personalized learning.

Aristotle said it best. “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.”

I say all of this to encourage you to always take the opportunity to learn as much as you can, as often as you can. Try to become a bit better at what you do each and every day. I encourage you to find a mentor who will help you throughout each stage in your life. Read a lot and learn through other people’s experiences, as well as your own. One of my personal mentors once told me, “You ought to learn from the mistakes of others, since you’re unlikely to live long enough to make them all on your own”.

Here’s to your personal learning and development program.

Hospitably,
Coach

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Money Well Spent


This February, Hotel Equities held our Annual GM/DOS Conference in Birmingham, Alabama. The conference brings everyone together in one location to participate in team building and training sessions to further develop their skills and talents, to recognize and celebrate successes and to look ahead to the future.

A lot of time and resources are spent planning and executing these events, so we want to ensure all attendees have a positive experience. Therefore, we always ask for their feedback afterwards. As I reflect on the week’s events and continue to receive feedback from the attendees, it’s clear that bringing everyone together is money well spent.

During past downturns in the economy, when nearly all hospitality companies were eliminating their annual conferences, HE viewed this time as an opportunity to show our leaders how committed we were to their growth and well-being by continuing to have our leadership retreats. One of the key aspects of the retreat is for the participants to meet new folks who are peers, to share new ideas and build comradery. When things begin to get off-track at the property level, GM’s are more likely to call a peer to discuss how they might have handled a similar situation. Having someone who is going through something similar is extremely important in this industry. Also, learning alongside your peers can often be energizing to leaders.

We like to celebrate successes and recognize those who have gone above and beyond. HE holds an award’s night at every conference, rewarding different individuals and properties throughout the portfolio for a job well done. Seeing peers cross the stage to pick up well-deserved awards is motivating to many individuals and encourages them to commit to work harder and smarter to get on stage next year.    

The conference allows the home office coaching staff to share their experience and wisdom in dealing with complicated issues. This year, we also had the opportunity to introduce our new strategic alliance partner from Virtua Partners’ team to the associates in attendance.

The conference was a successful event and just like every year, we look forward to the next one and all that we will learn from it. One of Hotel Equities’ 12 value statements asks the question, “If it were my money would I spend it?” The resounding answer regarding this year’s Leadership summit is, Yes!


Hospitably Yours,
Coach

Monday, November 26, 2018

We Want You


I’m proud to say that Hotel Equities kicked off our company-wide military recruitment initiative this year. Through the process, I was happy to learn that HE already has many great former service members working with us. Active duty, veterans, and military spouses, you are all uniquely qualified for this industry. After all, that’s how I got my start… 

I joined the United States Marine Corps Reserves during a time when the Vietnam War was expanding. I served a total of six years. I went to Parris Island for Boot Camp and then, after Basic Training, went to Advanced Infantry training and Jungle Warfare training at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The recruiting sergeant told me that my reserve unit would be activated and would spend approximately 13 months in Vietnam. I was also told that following a two-year tour of active duty, I would be re-assigned to my reserve unit, have the opportunity to return to college and, upon completion, would have the opportunity to apply for Officer’s Candidate School.

Upon completion of our training and just prior to my unit being shipped out to Vietnam, 10 members of our unit, including myself, were given orders to return to my hometown of Boston to help ready equipment and supplies to be shipped alongside us overseas. After the completion of the readying of our gear and while we were still awaiting our Vietnam assignment orders, we were given permission by our commanding officer to look for temporary work as long as we stayed in shape and called in to the base every day. We were assured by our CO that we could be leaving any day. Because I was honest in saying that I might be leaving for Vietnam soon, no one would hire me.

My uncle Al, who worked for Sheraton, helped me get a job interview at the Sheraton Boston Hotel and, while still awaiting my unit’s orders of deployment, I worked at the hotel as a mail and information clerk. For some unknown reason, our orders of assignment to Vietnam never came. Here I am 50 years later, still excited about the hotel business and enjoying the hospitality industry as much as I did at the start. I am forever thankful that the General Manager of the hotel, Mr. Max Dean, took a chance and hired me.

Hospitably Yours,
Coach

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.



Hospitably,
Fred

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

WHAT ON EARTH AM I HERE FOR?

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.


Hospitably, 
Fred

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.

Hospitably,
Coach Fred

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!

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