Morag Stark was promoted to general manager of Macdonald Cardrona hotel & golf course last year. Four months into her new role, she caught up with Janie Stamford to discuss her route to the top.
Did you always have the role of general manager in your sights?
I never dreamt that when I started out in the hotel industry back in 1994 as an executive housekeeper that one day I would become a general manager. It was more of a pipe dream really; I never actually thought that it would become a reality.
It has been a steep learning curve, particularly as my previous experience was not in a food and beverage role. Fortunately for me I am supported by a very experienced team.
How did you demonstrate your drive to progress your career?
I was always prepared to support any area of the business. So whether it was making the toast, answering the phones or checking the bedrooms, I was always willing to take on a job no matter how big or small the task!
I have always been a strong communicator with both my guests and my team, which is an essential part to being a successful general manager.
What have been your career highlights so far?
When I achieved and exceeded the hotel's profit targets two years running, it was made extra special because it was during the recession.
I was also proud to be awarded runner-up in Macdonalds's Hotel of the Year 2009.
I am very happy in my role but you never know what the future may hold. Macdonald Hotels is a very progressive company, which offers a wide range of opportunities for its entire team. I would love for the team to win Hotel of the Year in 2011.
What drives you?
Without doubt, success is my biggest motivation in work. I have always been driven by guest feedback about their experience with us and looking at how we can try to improve that experience. I have a great team around me and I receive regular positive feedback about them, which always makes me feel very proud.
I'm inspired by Gordon Ramsay. I love his feisty, no-nonsense approach to food and hospitality. He never accepts being second best and neither do I.