There is no better testament to the strength of a leader than the caliber of his team. That said, it was a sincere pleasure to have had the opportunity to present not one, but two awards to the team at the Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Downtown a few weeks back. General Manager, Nick Johnson, nominated his Head Housekeeper, Virginia Gilmore, for our Melvin H. Lieberman Golden Eagle Award noting that “[Virgie] has a very direct, no nonsense approach that works only because her team and the larger hotel team understands that she supports all of them and is willing to jump in and help with both job related or personal issues.”
It’s no wonder that Nick himself was, in turn, nominated for the same award by all of his department heads. “Nick finds time to spend with each employee in every department, no matter what shift they work,” they said of him, “[He] truly has a passion for people and tries to pass it along to his team members daily.” Nick and Virgie are strong examples of First Hospitality Group’s EAGLE creed and that which it stands for but this is, without a doubt, a shared victory for the entirety of the Milwaukee team. Unknown to many, this is part of the secret recipe to building a strong team; share the good, the bad, and jointly celebrate the success.
It is the responsibility of any leader to grow his team – to manage the strengths of the individuals and the team that they comprise. However, as important as it is to manage effectively, a truer indication of a successful leader is made by those that he surrounds himself with. The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.
It is a wonderful opportunity to recognize dedicated individuals, but it is truly something special to celebrate an entire team of them. For our winners, the feeling that comes with knowing you are so highly regarded by the people you work alongside of every day is a undeniable gift. However, this victory is not for Nick and Virginia alone. For those who went out of their way to honor their colleagues, this is a victory to be enjoyed by all. A leader, no matter how strong and knowledgeable, is only as strong as his or her team.