Words from the Wise – Andrew Hodgkins

13 September 2012
Words from the Wise – Andrew Hodgkins

Maintain a positive mind-set
In my experience, being positive has kept me focused, even at the worst of times. It's easy to get bogged down when an opportunity has been missed; but there are plenty more opportunities out there, so concentrate on how to secure these instead and, thereby, set a good example for team members.

Be organised
Good organisation is key to being successful, especially when working in the hectic hospitality industry. I've always made sure that I have a plan for any eventuality. There are always going to be moments where obstacles are thrown at you and where many issues require your attention, but being prepared and prioritising is essential to overcome this.

Be flexible, except with organisational core values
It's a given that your plans and strategies will change as time goes on. Flexibility is one of the greatest strengths a company can have, especially in an unsteady economic climate and an ever-changing digital environment. No matter the pressure for immediate profits, do not compromise on core values and messages.

Value your team
The importance of working as a team is a moral that everyone is familiar with but something that not everybody employs in business. I strongly believe that you can get the best out of your team by appreciating their hard work, recognising their contribution and listening to their feedback.

Encourage and accept criticism graciously
Admit your mistakes and create an environment where employees can state their honest opinions.

Never lose sight of your unique selling points
Developing long-lasting relationships, taking on demanding opportunities and running a tight operation form the foundations of a successful corporate hospitality company. But it's important to remember the hard work that had to be put in to achieve it in the first place. The key is not to get complacent. Keep your standards up and think of new ways to innovate to keep you ahead of competitors rather than simply keeping your head above water.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

â- 2009-10 Head of sales and marketing, Keith Prowse
â- 2010 Acting managing director, later managing director, Keith Prowse

Business mantra You can't change the past, so move on and plan ahead. Using the lessons you have learnt from your mistakes is imperative to being successful.

WHO DO YOU MOST ADMIRE?
Steve Jobs - an inventor, designer, businessman and entrepreneur. He was a remarkable man. Having studied industrial design for my degree, I find his work incredible for its simplicity of form combined with amazingly well thought-out functionality and intuitive usability.

He didn't just respond to the market, he created the market, and he did this with products that people didn't realise they needed. As a businessman, he not only founded Apple, but he came back to it having been ousted from the board and took it from near collapse to the largest company in the world.

It is his drive to do things in his own way and to believe in his ideas and his products that really makes him stand out to me. He is a great loss to the 21st century, and we would have all benefited from another 30 years of Steve Jobs and his genius.

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