#Know Your Leader. Today’s Traveller Know Your Leader motivational initiative invites Vijay Wanchoo, Sr EVP & General Manager, The Imperial New Delhi to share his experiences, his journey, and some unknown facts about him that keep him going.
This, in turn, will motivate teams to delve into themselves and bring out their lesser-known selves.
Even though a picture is worth a thousand words, sometimes the right words are just what you need to make it through the day, to inspire your team, or to change your perspective.
Today’s Traveller: How do you keep up your team’s morale?
Vijay Wanchoo: Whenever one is handling a huge team, in my case over 600 staff, this is always a challenge. My endeavour is to be in close touch with people at all levels. It is important to be empathetic and understanding and also the psyche.
One must share positive energies and also let them know that you mean well and this is what I try to always do. In these times especially when physical contact is avoidable, I have used technology and shared personalised video messages with the team.
Besides, I am a sportsman and ensure that I lead the team on the cricket ground and actually play the matches. Over the past 11 years, we have one-two inter hotel cricket trophies and three times we were runners up.
Today’s Traveller: A major milestone that shaped you as a Leader
Vijay Wanchoo: In a career spanning four decades there have been several episodes where one has learnt through mistakes and I do believe that the experience is the best teacher.
I do recollect a couple of turns in my career. One was when I was promoted to Food and Beverage and won an award as Best Food and Beverage Manager in 1994. The other was when I got my first break as General Manager in 2000. Having said that, I have come across industry stalwarts from whom I have always extracted invaluable and rich learnings.
Today’s Traveller: How do you approach a challenge?
Vijay Wanchoo: A good leader will never step back when faced with dire situations. This is where one has to take charge. The key element is to keep a cool head and show everyone the way.
One must know the situation completely and I can pen down numerous situations wherein I was faced with challenges with very few options.
I can mention a situation when there was an event that had to be moved from one venue to another and both the parties were extremely important and I could not afford to discriminate. It was here that I used tact and a demeanour which helped me to win the situation.
Of course, all this comes at a price be it stress, or even a financial loss. At the end of the day, it is important to bear in mind that the guests must be happy and satisfied.
Today’s Traveller: What is that one thing that you have learnt during Covid19 Pandemic?
Vijay Wanchoo: The primary learning is to do the right thing as none of us has ever handled this type of situation and we are not trained for this.
Hence, nothing should be taken for granted. Additionally securing your property, family and oneself is critical. With the second wave, one has been able to handle this better after the experience last year.
Today’s Traveller: What is that one thing that you cannot miss?
Vijay Wanchoo: I would choose meditation. For me, the half-hour or so in the day spent alone and peaceful is important and I ensure that I do not miss this.
Today’s Traveller: Which non-professional activities give you energy and satisfaction.
Vijay Wanchoo: For the past forty years, I have been an avid player of Billiards and Snooker. This is a game that I picked up from my maternal uncles who were Delhi state champions and whose performance I never got to see.
Yet, I feel the newspaper articles of those days egged me on and I seized the first opportunity I saw to learn the game.
It is every Sunday that 5-6 of us meet and enjoy this sophisticated game on the green baize. For me, this helps to unwind and relax. Besides one also gets to do physical activity.
I have started cycling and found that even half an hour of rigorous workout helps.
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