Keith is the General Manager at the Ambassador Chicago.
How has the job of a hotel GM changed over the past couple of years? This is a question that only something like the pandemic could cause us to ask because in spite of pre-pandemic musings about culture, employee development and company growth, the job was quickly moving into “managing by spreadsheet” territory.
Today, we’re having discussions about flexibility, development and attracting new entrants into the industry; things that almost feel a little foreign but they’re topics that are forcing GM’s to find new ways of addressing old problems.
What struck me in this conversation was that much of what Keith and I discussed isn’t anything new. What’s different however is that leaders must bring authenticity to their positions now more than ever. You can no longer say one thing and do another. Your team is watching and evaluating what and how you do what you say, and if you don’t have enough people on your team because they keep leaving, this might be a you problem, not a them problem.
Hailing from the east coast, Cestare worked his way up in the hospitality industry, having started as a bellman followed by a stint as a front desk agent and houseman at his first hotel because he could not attain full-time hours from one sole department. According to Cestare, he quickly realized his passion and enthusiasm for the hotel business and the immense impact he could make on the lives of others.
Cestare is a proud east coast native who is a self-described people lover. When he’s not working, he enjoys delving into his many hobbies including calisthenics, reading, and traveling to different countries and experiencing a multitude of cuisines to gain a greater understanding of the various and wonderfully unique palates of his expected guests. Fun fact about Keith: he reads about 4 books a month and specifically enjoys reading about technology trends in the hospitality industry.
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