Hopes, Dreams, Wishes and Aspirations by Rory Rowland

Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together.”  Anais Nin

 In the late 90s when I was brand-new to the speaking business, a client arranged for a limousine to pick me up at the airport. It was the first time I had ever had a limousine pick me up while on business. My sense of self-importance was incredible, however that feeling of self- importance was to be overshadowed by what I was about to learn. Rosie was the limousine driver who was to take me from the airport to the World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida. Rosie was happy, friendly, and quick with a story. Since this is the first time a client had ever had a limousine for me to get from the airport, I really did not know the protocol. Rosie guided me to the limousine and just at the right moment, she held the back limousine door open so I could step inside. Coming from a blue-collar family, I asked if I could just sit up front with her. My father was a truck driver, so obviously I did not know anything about riding in the back of limousines. She smiled and quickly moved to open up the front door for me to climb into.

While upfront, I asked her how she liked being a limousine driver and how she liked working for the World Center Marriott. She said she loved it and would gladly work there for many years. She said that the World Center Marriott was special because the General Manager was extraordinary. The General Manager, she said, knew almost all the employees by their first name. He had also given many of them a nickname. I asked Rosie what her nickname was and she responded with, “Trouble.” Her response showed that smile again and a bit of a laugh. Her sense of pride that she was recognized as important was very evident.

During my stay, I asked other employees how long they had worked there and if they liked it there. They all said yes, with a smile and enthusiasm. I could not find anyone who had worked there for less than five years!  For the service industry, in my mind, that was extraordinary.  Particularly in Orlando, where an employee can leave one job and get another the same day.

After my speaking engagement at the World Center Marriott, Rosie took me in the limousine, (notice I was again in a limousine) and I told her about the extraordinary service I received at the hotel and what a great job they did there. I then asked her to tell me a story that illustrated the General Manager’s extraordinary skills. Rosie shared a story about a housekeeper who always wanted to see Bill Cosby perform. However, since she was a housekeeper in Orlando, Florida, it was difficult for her to travel to Las Vegas.  On top of that, the show tickets would be too expensive.  Since the General Manager was so people-oriented, he knew and remembered many details about his employees.

When Bill Cosby was scheduled to perform in a corporate event in Orlando, the general manager remembered this fact. On his own accord, he contacted Bill Cosby’s manager and asked if the housekeeper could meet Bill Cosby and then possibly see his show. Bill Cosby’s folks were incredibly gracious and not only did they allow her to meet Bill Cosby, but they gave her backstage passes, she had her picture taken with him and she was able to watch the performance with the other folks who were at the corporate event. 

Rosie told me that the housekeeper thanked the General Manager profusely for allowing her to live a life long dream.

The General Manager knew the hopes, wishes, dreams and aspirations of his employees. He used that knowledge to deepen and strengthen his relationships with his employees. Moreover, that knowledge helped him earn the respect, admiration and loyalty of his employees for a lifetime.


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