Archive for October, 2008

Going above and beyond. It’s the Marriott Way.. and it truly is!

October 16, 2008

This day and age it seems to be that exceptional service gets overlooked.  We have become accustomed to connivence over quality and recordings over people.  As a whole people are more likely to acknowledge and voice a complaint but overlook an opportunity to share a sincere praise.  Well, I have stepped on a “diamond star” when it comes to customer service.. so much so that I can not allow it to go overlooked.  

Marriott Logo

For the past few weeks I have been organizing a speaking event at two Marriott hotels, one in Philadelphiaand one inTysons Corner.  This was my first time to ever act as an “event coordinator” from negotiating contracts, selecting menus, ordering AV equipment, establishing room set-up and booking sleeping rooms… it was details galore.. and lets not forget keeping ourselves within budget. My Event Managers at both hotels, Lisa Cirello and Trevell Williams were top notch!  They saved my tail in many instances, not allowing anything to go over-looked.. they made me look like a pro.  

So what did they do that was so exceptional?:

  1. Treated our event as if it was their own.
  2. Took care of every small detail.
  3. Went above and beyond from cradle to grave.
  4. Responded quickly with solutions and action.
  5. Provided a great nights rest in unbelievably comfortable beds.
  6. They valued us as their guest!

Lisa was working miracles the day before our event while Trevell was overcoming all obstacles to ensure our guests had a pleasant experience.  The entire event staff delivered exceptional service.  

Here are a few specific examples of exceptional service the Marriott way:

Tyson’s Corner:

  1. Gladis Martinez – Banquet Captain. She and her assistant Doris Diaz (Banquet Lead) were so helpful and accommodating. Example: “Tim HATES nuts!!!! I asked Doris if she could offer something chocolate without the nuts. She came back with a plate of chocolate truffles. She was so nice and helpful.” Dayna Taylor, Today’s Dentist Event Manager  
  2. Osama Marrero – AV Tech. He was great!! He went out of his way to make sure the speakers were good to go throughout the event. Very professional!!” – Dayna Taylor, Today’s Dentist Event 
  3. Lisa Cirello – Senior Events Manager “While our event was going on in Philadelphia, Lisa was on the phone with me making last minute changes to the menu, confirming our new AV needs  and ensuring me our event would be exceptional!”  Laurie Baggett, Event Coordinator
Renaissance Philadelphia:
  1.  Shaun Williams – AV Tech – “Even though, he had to overcome some obstacles, he never complained or blamed someone else for the mistake. He just worked with a smile and was very helpful in making sure that the AV person in Tyson corner  would have what they needed when we arrived. He made me a list of equipment that he used and explained it to me so I could understand. Great addition to their team!” Dayna Taylor – Today’s Dentist Event Manager
  2. Trevell Williams – Catering Manager – “During our event Trevell ran interference and did everything needed in order to ensure the seminar would run smoothly.  She overcame obstacles and was quick to respond to requests.” – Dayna Taylor – Today’s Dentist Events Manager

So… if you are ever looking to book an event and you just happen to be in search of  great hotel don’t overlook the Marriott.  I give them my highest level of recommendation and praise!  Thank you again Trevell Williams & Lisa Cirello, I hope to work with you in the near future!  As for our future engagements… well lets just say we are Marriott all the way!


How Do Different Generations Show Up in The Workplace?

October 13, 2008

It is just the natural progression of the generational formation cycle. Generations are formed in approximately 20 year cycles where their worldviews and values are shaped by historical and cultural events occurring at different stages of development. Though an historical event may be commonly shared by four different generations, each generation is not the same age and experience and therefore perceives it through a different lens. The conclusions and corresponding decisions made as a result of the event shapes and inform each generation. That is how you end up with different generations with the classic “gaps” that we so often refer to.


Why do you think we are finding so many Boomers having bosses/colleagues who are younger than them vs. years ago when it was the other way around?

October 8, 2008

Technology: Without a doubt this has been a major factor in turning traditional leadership hierarchy on its head. Due to younger workers’ familiarity, comfort and ease with technology they tend to embrace the rapid change that is necessary to keep up. Many organizations are promoting technical skill sets over longevity.  What is lost however is the seasoning and perspective that longevity can provide.

Education: It is easier to obtain and increasingly pertinent as a pre-requisite for jobs.  Younger people as a whole are more educated for their age than their parents or grandparents; especially in the technology that is so crucial for success. In higher education, MBA’s of yesteryear emphasized more management skills because of the organizational structures in place at the time, whereas today, there is more emphasis on leadership skills.  

Innovation: New markets emerge almost on an annual basis due to new technologies, procedures, and systems of business.  It is strategically beneficial to young people that they were raised using higher technologies such as computers.  They have new perspectives of innovation in new markets, and bring fresh perspective to well-established markets such as finance, manufacturing, and development.  They are frequently called on to help re-align the old with the new and bring standards up to relevance.

Diversity: Rather than simply cross-cultural or cross-gender dynamics in the workplace (an emphasis of the mid-to-later 20th century) diversity is increasingly becoming an issue of cross-generational dynamics.  Different generations mixed in an organization create an atmosphere of both tension and creativity.  It’s simple…different ages, different perspectives, different concerns, and different communication skills create different ideas that blend together to make dynamic ideas.  Dynamic ideas can often breed successful dynamics of innovation in organizations, if innovators are embraced.

Times are Changing at Work. Why Baby Boomers Must be Able to Accept Working With GenX and GenY Employees.

October 7, 2008

Why is it important to be able to accept working with younger people?

I believe the issue goes beyond being able to “accept” working with younger people – that has always been a reality for every maturing generation – to embracing working with them. The issue here is actually working with younger people instead of just alongside. If Boomers can embrace their role as, “old birds teaching young birds how to fly,” as C.S. Lewis put it, we can transition into leaving a legacy when we leave our job. Boomers must be willing to influence, educate, and mentor younger people.  Otherwise there will be a huge gap of contention between the two generations with counterproductive views of each other leading to bias and bitterness.  Not a healthy work environment.  Younger workers have much to learn from Boomers and Boomers have much to learn from them.  

Author: Rolfe Carawan

Our Economic Times are Tough… Is Unifying Leadership Too Much To Ask For?

October 3, 2008