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7 Questions on Leadership with Rachel Bremer



Name: Rachel Bremer


Title: Director of Global Markets


Oranisation: Utah Office of Tourism


Rachel Bremer is a successful hospitality and tourism industry leader with over 20 years of tourism and hospitality marketing and management experience. She currently represents the Utah Office of Tourism as the Director of Global Markets. Leading international marketing campaigns, PR strategies, and travel trade/airline development to promote Utah's responsible discovery and visitation. An alum of West High School, Salt Lake Community College, and the University of Utah, she enjoys building relationships, hiking, rollerblading, reading, and spending time with her family and dog. She is passionate about sharing her love for the state and the Mountain West with others.


Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!


I hope Rachel's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Cheers,

Jonno White



1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?


Finding time. Time to devote to each team member, projects, vendors, and valued relationships. Whether someone is building their career or is a CEO, they deserve to have valuable, engaging conversations and to hear from me because I value their opinions, insights, and partnerships. Because of our digital overload and "always on" demands, project expectations, teams I manage, etc., it is difficult to find the time for the people I work with while also finding time for myself and my family.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?


I started working at 14, and since then, I have held some sort of supervisory or management role. I lead by example, and people enjoy working with me. As I moved into hospitality and tourism marketing, my teams grew larger and global, and the culture, language, and other factors didn't change my core leadership skills. Whether it is an in-house team member, vendor/contractor, client, or partner, I can connect with people and understand their needs. I have always led empathetically while striving to lead with clarity, achieve strategic objectives, and constantly learn. A good leader always seeks to learn from others, even those they manage.


3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?


I wake up early and give myself lots of time to prep, make a lunch, and eat a solid meal or protein shake before coming in. I work best in the mornings and have some unscheduled work time in the mornings, although this can often be difficult considering the different time zones our teams work in and accommodating meetings for those teams. I also schedule "focus time" in my calendar to work on deep-thought projects whenever possible. I schedule my team one-on-one meetings at the same times each week when possible.


Again, this can be difficult with time zones and team travel, but we work to stay to a regular cadence when possible. We use project management tools to streamline some projects and IM tools, and I turn these notifications off when I need to work on projects. I plan my time to leave the office based on family priorities, any evening events, etc. I have a short commute, so little concerned about the timing of when I leave, and I can work from home when I choose to. I also like to give my team the autonomy to work from home when they choose to. I aim to work out a minimum of 3 times a week (cardio, pilates, and walking), and I go to bed at a reasonable time nightly (many times after helping my daughter with homework.)

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?


I am reminded that we can learn from many different types of leaders. The most unlikely mentors may be in front of us, and sometimes observing leaders who, in many ways, may not be like us will help us understand how to rethink our approach and learn new skills.


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?


Lyn Christian's Soul Salt. She includes personal stories and reminds us that our story doesn't end at an age and our life's successes evolve. We can define what that looks like and change our narrative, pursue our passions while finding ways to face the difficult things blocking our extraordinary leadership abilities and pathways to growth.


6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?


Refrain from assuming you know what you want to be now and be willing to evolve. Also, don't assume you know everything;) You may be educated in many subjects or highly skilled in one trade, but take the time to observe the people who lead around you and humble yourself to learn and grow. I give the same advice to old leaders who are not willing to learn from young minds and bring a chair for them at the table.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?


Years ago, just outside London, we got stuck in traffic for 6+ hours with our group of stakeholders in our van. The driver left us; we were starving and tired, waiting for our replacement driver. We had members of our group missing their train, and our jet-lagged group, after a long day of meetings, was struggling to keep it together, but we found ways to bond, connect, and laugh. Instead of also complaining or dramatizing the situation, I remained calm, kind, helpful, and humorous during our time creeping through traffic with our exhausted group. It reminded me that the leaders set the tone and will help others get through difficult times or break down and make it more tenuous and difficult.


The new driver was not supposed to stop, but I was able to engage with the group and driver to pick up some food at a local grocery store and allow the group to rest briefly. This is meaningful because it reflects in so many ways how I lead in other situations and, even when under stress, the ability to problem solve, remain calm, and help others through many unforeseen moments.


Whether it is a difficult HR discussion with a team member who is underperforming, a group stuck in a van, or managing a difficult conversation with a vendor about budgets or campaign planning, this story exemplifies my leadership style.

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