Hospitality leader stresses integrity
Integrity, responsibility and hard work are the keys to great leadership, Sergio Ortiz, the general manager of the University Hilton, said Wednesday.
"Leadership is doing the right thing," he said.
Ortiz said that leadership is about building an individual’s character.
As part of the Hilton College Dean’s Lecture Series focusing on hospitality industry leaders, Ortiz told students not to give up when faced with adversity.
Instead of finding the negative side of a situation when faced with difficulties, he said that students should accept the situation as a challenge to help build one’s character and those of others.
Leadership also requires that managers listen to others indiscriminately and to be compassionate.
"Give your time, give your money, give your spirit, give your all to others," Ortiz said.
Leadership is about being responsible, he said, and people in management positions do not have an excuse for a poorly done job, because they are accountable for a team’s success or failure.
Ortiz also told students to be passionate in whatever career they pursue.
"Do what has you really fired up," he said.
Setting higher goals is important for people to stay motivated, he said. Ortiz’s first job was as a desk clerk in Mexico City, and since then he has been involved in the hospitality industry for 30 years. He said that his goal was to be able to own his own hotels.
Ortiz said that while students should be hardworking at their jobs, they shouldn’t take themselves too seriously.
"We’re not saving people," he said. "We’re not sending (a) man to the moon."
Students should take pride in their work, but they should not let it define them, because jobs can be temporary, Ortiz said. Finding a balance between work and one’s personal life is key, he said.
"Take care of yourself first," he said. "You are not the job. The job is you."