Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Picking a Team Leader

Nami's amazing manager, Joseph Nerios

Nami is one of the businesses I run. It's a 12-room boutique resort in Diniwid Beach, Boracay. We are super happy that we've been recognized in a lot of international publications like Wallpaper, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune and many others. Our restaurant in on its third year of being on the Philippine Tatler's Best Restaurants list. Woohoo!

Photo taken from Nami, where every room has this view

One of my favorite business books is called Built to Last by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras. This book details the habits of the number one company in different market segments. One of the premises that this book espouses it that visionary companies always promote from within. In the over five-hundred combined years that twelve visionary companies suveyed have been operating, only three times was a CEO hired from outside. Every other time someone a CEO was needed one was promoted from within the organization and this system has resulted in exponential growth.

As a believer in this theory, our current manager at Nami is Joseph Nerios. He is truly amazing! At thirty years old he has been with the company for five years. He was initially hired as a butler. Joseph came from humble beginnings in Ilo-ilo. Like many of his peers he finished a two-year HRM diploma at St. Therese in Ilo-ilo. After that, he studied six more months in Stewardship at the Ilo-ilo State College of Fisheries, which was aligned with his initial plan to work on a cruise ship. While studying he was a working student working as a busboy in an Ilo-ilo hotel called Sarabia Manor, in the process of taking this this job he pretty much derailed his plans of entering the maritime world. His service at Sarabia was so outstanding that a regular customer (who happened to own White House resort in Boracay) saw him and asked him to join their team as a waiter/bartender in 2002.

From busboy to waiter to butler to Resort Manager is an unlikely path, given that a resort that charges as much as we do would normally hire a foreigner (or at the very least a Manila-trained HRM graduate) to do the job. What we have found though is that Joseph never pulls ranks and inspires others to follow him by simply working the hardest. He is of the “lead by example” mold which works perfectly in an industry such as ours. Instead of bossing people around, he just works hard and hopes that the others will be too embarassed not to follow. Watching him every month I can say that this system really works.

Joseph's current dream is to finish a small house he is building in the province. His first dream was to have all his siblings finish school, something he has already achieved. I am so proud of Joseph, More than being happy for him and what he has accomplished, I am happier for me and the Nami team because our enterprise is growing as a direct result of his many talents. What he lacks in formal training he makes up for with street smarts and tenacity.

I think everyone should promote from within because it brings out the best in those who want to build a career within the organization. It makes people dream big because they know that they can move up if they are really worth promoting.

Thanks Joseph! You rock!  

Our happy butlers

View of Nami from the beach

Jomar, who never stops smiling