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Blog Article

Daring To Be Great: Leadership Insights With Kevin Ellis

Aug 20, 2021

Q&A with Kevin Ellis General Manager, Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa

What do you love most about being a leader?
I find the most rewarding part of being a leader, is being able to support and coach the people around me, to be successful in whatever brings them happiness.

What is your management philosophy?
I suppose I follow a few different “philosophies”, but the one that has always been keenly important to me, would be the idea of being a “Servant Leader.” I have always found success leading when I take the time to recognize and prioritize the wants and needs of others, before imparting my own.

What inspires you to be great?
I love that Hospitality is fundamentally simple – Take great care of people! Bringing success to my Guests, Associates and Owners makes me happy, and being part of an organization that drives excellence and higher expectations keeps me motivated.

How do you inspire team members? (Give us examples!)
Another great piece of advice that I received early in my career, is to “Manage by Walking Around.” Some of my most meaning interactions with others, happens organically through the simple acknowledgment of positive behavior. I have also found that one of the best was to motivate team members, is to lead from behind. By providing expectation, resources and support I need to trust my team to execute and allow them the room they need to be challenged and grow.

What advice/tips resonated with you most from mentors throughout your career?
One of the most important leadership lessons I was fortunate to be taught early in my career, was to establish a critical balance required between “Managing Up” (to my boss), and “Managing Down” (to my Team). If time constraints ever require me to choose between the two – I always Manage Down first!
Hospitality can be a fast-paced and often challenging industry. Maintain balance and prioritize what is important in your life, so you can best serve others.

What is the most pressing challenge you’ve faced and resolved in the past year?
My greatest challenge over the last year, has been to maintain the needed perspective in both my personal and professional life to remain positive and impart optimism to my team and family as we managed through the COVID-19 Pandemic.