Hello, I'm Dr. John Beckham, Assistant Professor for Business Management Economics and Academic Area Coordinator for Finance and Management Studies and today we're with Darrell LeGare who is Director of Sales and Marketing for the Hilton Hotels. Hi, Darrell how are you? >> Doing great. >> So Daryl, thanks again for your time. We really appreciate this. >> Very good. Happy to be here. >> Just as a start, tell us a little bit about yourself. Your background, how you got up to the point where you're at now. And also currently what you do. >> Well, I went to college for a marketing degree. And graduated in the early 90's when there were no jobs so I ended up getting a bartender job in a hotel, and kind of worked my way up doing banquet bartending, lobby bartending, banquet serving, and got to understand the operational side of a hotel. And really took a liking to this area and really wanted to kind of work my way up, found a job in the sales department as a Telemarketing Coordinator. So I was making tons of appointments for the sales team and- >> Today awfully called liked cold calling? >> That's all it was. I didn't even get to go on the appointments [CROSSTALK]. So I just had to make the, I had to set them up over the phone so it was hardcore, but I got my foot in the door, and timing is everything, somebody left, and they gave me a shot. And really just love the sales side, building relationships, working with people, and creating a win/win situation. In the hotel business it's never the same day twice. Every client that we work with is different, there's an association out there for everything, so you really get a true sense of what's going on in your community in terms of business and groups that need to meet, so it was really fascinating. And I just was drawn to it because really it's all about you having a great product, you going forward and trying to make a connection with a client. They have a need and trying to put that together and get a match. It's a great job because I think we have great people in the hotel industry and we just want to serve, we want to give a great experience and have them come back again. So I kind of worked my up through the sales department in several hotels in Vermont and made it back down here to the Albany area and became a director probably about eight, nine, nine or ten years ago and just worked my way up, so it's been a great career so far. I've met some great people so far, such as yourself. >> Thank you, thank you. >> [LAUGHS] >> So, as a director of sales and marketing, what does that mean? >> Well, it means that we, my primary focus is top line revenue for the hotel. I focus on top line revenue, breaking that down into group revenue, which is meetings and conventions, trying to fill the guest rooms with big groups that come in and do their conventions, their meetings. They have banquet event sound in the meeting space that we have. They do food and beverage. So it's group revenue, it's food and beverage revenue and transient revenue. I'm responsible for setting and managing the rates on the transient side as well. So my overall responsibility is top line revenue and with a focus on the group side because where I am right now, this company does, this hotel rather does 70% groups so we're very focused on that, because we're connected to the City Center, and we've got the largest space in the capitol district area. >> Wow, now who are your reports? Do you have any direct reports that report to you directly? >> Yes, I have about ten. And that is the sales side, sales and catering. We also have the convention services side that once the sale comes in, we work with a team with convention services to detail out or plan the event to how many people are going to be in the meeting, are they going to set theater style, conference style, are they going to have a meal? What kind of meal are they going to have? Is it chicken, beef, fish, that type of thing. So they work on the details and then the revenue manager reports to me. We work on transient and group rate strategies, as well as the reservations department too, that takes in the reservations coming in every day. >> Excellent, now one of the poll questions that we had in our course, ask the question, do you work for an effective manager? And so, number one, do you work for an effective manager? And then number two, do you consider yourself an effective manager? >> Well, just in case my manager sees this- >> [LAUGH] >> video, I'm going to say absolutely. No, my manager is very engaging and I look to him for positive attributes that I can apply to my own leadership style as well. So, what I try to do as a leader is take all of the experiences that I have, that I experience when I'm out there and through historically from where I've started, my first boss. I always remember her and how engaging she was and nurturing she was to me, bringing me up as a new salesperson who didn't know anything. Gave me all the time in the world to get it done. And conversely, I've had bad managers. Not here. >> Right. >> Bad managers that I've also learned from too, that set a bad example. Like if you're trying to tell them something that is really a huge obstacle for you in your job and they're typing away on the computer and they're not even looking at you, those are the things that I register as well. Just taking all those experiences and kind of adapting the good experiences, the bad experiences into my own style. So the question was, am I an effective manager? >> Yes, your own perception of yourself. It's kind of like the man in the mirror. >> Yeah. >> That you as though you are an effective manager and why. >> I think you have to look in the mirror constantly. >> Mm-hm. >> Leadership is, I think it's hard. I consider myself a student of leadership because you're continuously developing your style, you're adapting to what's going on in the environment, and it's changing constantly. So, as a leader, I want to instill trust in my people. I want there to be candor. I'm always looking to see if I can coach them, if I can help them, if I can remove obstacles. What's in your way? Are they motivated? How can I help? How can I be there for them? Because as a leader, as a manager, there's times when, coming up the ranks, you've got your head down and you're doing all of these duties and you're working your way up. And then when you become a manager, it's almost like you have to kind of let go a little bit and let your people take those responsibilities. You have responsibilities, I mean there's administrative things that I have to do all the time. But really looking at my team and understanding how I can help them get to the next level. How can I help them be successful? And if I have trust and I have candor and I have an openness, I think that cultivates that. I'm very collaborative in nature so it's not my way or the high way, I want them to come up with their own ideas. So it's really important to have that because if trust is broken, if trust is broken you can maybe be a manager but you're really hard pressed to be a leader I think. You can't, once that happens it's I never want to burn a bridge. I try to be as transparent as possible. And I don't want to withhold information. So it's all about just giving them information, giving them the tools to succeed, and letting them go out and be successful. >> Excellent, so as a manager, do you see one of your functions as developing others, the people who report to you to maybe one day be you boss? Or take your position and you move on? >> Succession planning. >> Yes. >> Absolutely, absolutely. I always say listen, I'm not the smartest guy in the room. I'm going to hire people and surround myself with brilliant people because we're all going to rise up together. Absolutely, so the more we can collaborate together, the better we're all going to be. So very much so, you know I don't have that much of a ego. I wanted to develop people to the best of their potential. I think that's my job as a leader is to give them candid feedback, understand what their strengths are and what their weaknesses are and coach them to their weaknesses, to get them to the next level. And we all have weaknesses, so. >> Absolutely, I think that's an excellent point. Myself personally, one of the things that I always look at in regards to a leader is how many people have they helped developed, that came across their way. >> Mm-hm. >> So if you had a group of persons that started in one position, by time they move and progress on their career, how many people are right behind them? You know following that chain. I think that's a tremendous attribute of great leaders and managers, is actually the development of their team and people surrounding them. >> because if you're power hungry and you want it all and you want it all the glory and you want to make all the decisions, I think your world would crumble around you in today's society. >> Absolutely what they say a leader with no followers is just a man out taking a walk. >> [LAUGH]. >> All right now in regards to management, there's a point. So we have different generations going on simultaneously now, in our 21st century. >> Yes we do. >> You still got the baby boomers. You got generation X, generation Y, you got the millenniums. Do you manage them all the exact same way? Or is there different management approaches, or theories that you apply to each generation? Because they are currently in the workforce together. >> Yes they are. Generation X, baby, that's me. >> [LAUGH] >> I would say yeah, there's different ways to communicate with each one of those generations. I was just reading an article the other day that the millennians don't really feel the need for face to face meetings all the time, because they have been brought up in a world of texting and emailing. And it's, at times, we have to take a step back, especially in sales, to say hey listen, you know what? We've gotta get on the phone and we've gotta get into see that client. We've gotta get in, or have them come here and see our space. And I'm not saying that my team does that, but I'm aware of what the issues are, and I try to validate any kind of face to face meeting is it important, do I need to have it? Will they be engaged in this meeting? So that's something that I have to take into effect. So, yeah the world of, when I first stared we didn't even have, I think we had a fax machine, maybe, with the curly paper. So, I'm dating myself a little. >> [LAUGH] And a typewriter right? [LAUGH] >> [LAUGH] >> Wow, so they're are different approaches that you would take based upon the generation? >> Yes. >> Because they all learn different character traits, even though your a generation x, I would assume that you probably have some baby boomers that you manage as well. >> Yes. >> Who are older than you. >> Yes. >> How do you take that into effect? >> Hey, you know what? It's understanding what their strengths and weaknesses are. I had a baby boomer that was great with people, you know? So that was his strength, but he didn't have the technical acumen to run a computer and really understand it, so that was what we had to coach, so we set up training. We kind of broke it down for them so it wasn't such this big, huge thing that he was so scared of. So really taking the time to understand what the weaknesses are in coaching to that. >> Now, in the collaborative, I did hear you say collaboration is one tool that you like to use. In a collaborative environment, which you then take this baby boomer who is not tech savvy and then link them up or partner them with a millennial who is super tech savvy who might be lacking the social, face to face, personal type skills. >> Right. >> Have you found that to be something that you have done in your career? >> You mean bringing them together to collaborate? Yeah, whoever's on my team, that's the expectation. We're talking about different issues that we have to manage, but at the end of the day we're a team. And we all have to come together and we have to work together and we have think together. I'm all about trying to sit down around the table, just like this, and try to bang out ideas where we collaborate and try to form a consensus and get everyone's buy in. Because whatever decision we end up making as a team, I think whenever you're able to enroll everyone, because everyone has strengths and weaknesses. If you're enrolling everyone, then they've got a vested interest in the process and the outcome. >> Absolutely, great. Now, lets talk about decision making, which is a great dove tale from collaborative environment. When is it best suited, to make a decision collaboratively versus individually? >> Well, like I said, getting a team together to identify a strategy, I think is powerful.