training, travel

Musings from recent trips

I recently took several trips: One for work, one for training and development, and one for vacation. I learned something on each trip, and there were some themes.


A few of us visited MGM Grand Detroit and Beau Rivage for a few days to discuss our data and analytics projects. I was struck – as I always am – by the hospitality of our regional folks. I have made some great relationships – including friendships – at the regional properties over the years. In some ways it is the most simple way to form a relationship: I treat you well, you treat me well; I offer you something you want/need, you offer me something I want/need; when in trouble I can call on you, or you can call on me.

We started visiting the regional properties several years ago in FSSC under a simple premise – they deserved as much attention as their sister properties in Las Vegas. We’ve built that into a mutual relationship, where the regionals can often be our biggest supporters, best sources of critical feedback, and volunteers to try new things.

I’ve always felt welcome at the regional properties, and I hope they feel the same.

Training and development

I went to Deloitte’s training facility outside of Dallas for a few days recently, my first visit. And I have to say, WOW! The level of investment in their employees and their clients was impressive and then some – 800 rooms, full gym, restaurants, and state-of-the-art classrooms of all types. Speaking to partners who were at the training, it was not a “slam dunk” decision to make such an investment, given trends in online learning, supposed lack of loyalty among millennials, and the economic climate when it was built a few years ago.

But the firm had to decide what it was going to be about, what was its culture? I have to say, if I was a Deloitte employee, I would get a great feeling going there for new staff school, senior school and the variety of other touch points I might experience. It was a perfect environment for an immersive training I was attending – I got to meet over 40 fellow senior finance leaders, and in three days created some relationships that I know will be rekindled at future gatherings.


I was lucky enough to spend a long Memorial Day Weekend in the Dominican Republic. It was my first time, and there were several things I liked – consistently beautiful weather, lovely attitudes from the people, and the resorts are first class.

I would say that something was missing, however. Many of the attempts to get guests to interact felt contrived instead of organic. And service was pleasant but not all the little things were taken care of – you all know these experiences, keep being nice to me, but I’d like some silverware too, please).


1. Connection with others is what matters. This life is too short to live without making connections with people. They might be fleeting, they might be lifelong, or most likely they will be somewhere in the middle. The thing is you never know which one; so you ought to think about the possibilities when deciding how to interact with the folks you meet.

2. Hospitality is a feeling. It’s a feeling your guests get when they interact with you, when they visit your place of service, residence, or lodging. It’s a feeling you give your guests with every interaction. It’s either a strong positive feeling or it’s not. You get to decide what you do to provide that feeling but ultimately your guests will decide, so you have to get some good feedback.


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