Name: Fabrice Collot
Title: Managing Director
Organisation: Arabian Homes LLC
A qualified leader with over 30 years of experience in the luxury hospitality industry. A professional with unique and hands-on management experience, acquired on four continents, which will promote a fresh multicultural approach with an entrepreneurial flair, and a strategic vision focused on client experience and healthy returns for all stakeholders.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Fabrice's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
As a leader, you need to inspire your team. Change is scary for a lot of people, initiating a variation of pace and new work methods is very often met with fear of failure and resistance to new ideas by the employees. Leading changes within the first weeks or months is usually easy but to keep doing it when the old habits start to kick in is a turning point where a leader needs to find within the self-motivation and force to continue. That’s the challenging part!
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Chef by trade, I became an entrepreneur and opened several successful businesses in the USA. Decided that the sedentary life was not for me and joined the hotel industry in Russia, in the capacity of F&B Manager. My entrepreneurial background and skills have propelled me 4 years later into a GM position. I have managed properties in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and now in Saudi Arabia.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I am an early riser. After a quick shower, a light breakfast, and a short 5-minute drive, I enter my office around 5:30 am. I create my to-do list for the day and start the strategic thinking part when no one is around. This allows me to concentrate on focusing on the future of the company that I’m managing before even looking at my emails.
Religiously at 8 am, coffee with my two most senior colleagues for a 15-minute chitchat followed by a 45-minute business talk.
9 am to 1 pm is dedicated to internal and external meetings, emails, and phone calls. Lunch at 1 pm and back to work by 1:45. The afternoon is dedicated to the implementation of the business strategy and follow-up until 5:30 pm when I head back home for a squash game and some quality time with my family. Usually in bed by 10 pm.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
I was reminded of how important giving feedback is! I have taken over a 47-year-old company and discovered among other things that the employees have never been appraised or received individual feedback on their performance.
Giving positive but more importantly accurate and balanced feedback to an employee on his/her performance is crucial to mitigate shortfalls and to stimulate improvements.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
It's going to sound like a cliché but the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” from Stephen Covey had a tremendous impact on me. I try to practice it in my daily life and daily routine and it works for me. To be honest I’m a creature of habits so I had to slightly adapt a few of my existing behaviors and it is now my guiding principles that suit me well and that I am trying to share around me.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Work on you to be your best self, then Lead by Example
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Not so long ago I had the painful task to close a resort for good at the end of the Covid epidemic.
A new job was waiting for me within the same group but I knew that it was not the case for most of our employees. I truly believe that as a leader, your duty does not go only to the hotel Owner and Management company but also to your Colleagues.
I spent two and half months calling and emailing colleagues all over the world to find jobs for the unlucky employees that would not be transferred internally. At the same time, I was negotiating with the owner the find the best possible final settlement for them to be able to survive in the job interim.
In my new property, I made a point to rehire some of them.
To this date, I am still receiving thank you emails and messages as no one has forgotten my dedication to my team.