Standout Leaders from American Alliance of Museums, Georgia Aquarium, Biltmore Estate, and Europa-Park Share Pathways to Success
New generations with new priorities. Hyperconnected employees who lack human connections. Robots! Today’s leaders are navigating in uncharted waters. But there are some beacons along the way.
For the latest issue of its Destinology publication, PGAV Destinations interviewed notable leaders at some of the world’s premiere aquariums, science centers, theme parks, and legacy estates to uncover successful paths to modern leadership and essentials for today’s professional world.
These successful leaders agreed that the game is changing today more rapidly than ever before. Technology transformation is dramatically altering business processes in virtually every industry, changing needed employee skillsets along with them. Employees are bombarded with information both within work and without, yet face-to-face meetings and relationship-building are more difficult as work-from-home environments become more common. An ever-strengthening focus on diversity brings valuable new perspectives into view. And Trailing Millennials and Generation Z are changing the professional setting as to what motivates them, work life balance, social impact, how leaders manage them – and how they manage their leaders.
Much of this change is positive, but it also requires leaders to evolve their priorities and skillsets along the way. Leaders interviewed cited mentorship skills as a growing need in this environment.
“As leaders and those who are heading into the leadership community, we need to get our mentorship skills up, because the generation coming after the generation that’s coming is very definitive in what they need; and as they’re identifying mentorship, sponsorship, and leadership role models, they will flat-out tell you that you’re supposed to be in that role,” says Dr. Tonya Matthews, Associate Provost for Inclusive Workforce Development and Director of STEM Learning Innovation at Wayne State University.
Beyond exploring how career advancement and the dynamics between management and team-building have evolved, leaders revealed how active listening and empathy have become central tenets of inspirational leadership. “To be a successful and dynamic leader, you need to be willing to take the harsh criticism, own it, and grow from it,” says Dr. Brian Davis, Executive Vice President of the Georgia Aquarium. “I learned a long time ago: we have two ears and one mouth for a reason.”
The issue of Destinology – titled Lessons in Leadership: The Emerging Leaders of the Attractions Industry – also shares insights from interviews with Michael Mack, Managing Partner at Europa-Park, one of Europe’s leading theme park resorts, and Chase Pickering, Director of Experience Design and Development at the Biltmore Estate. Chase’s many years of working with Dr. Jane Goodall and her Roots & Shoots program has brought a global perspective to Asheville, NC, innovating the legendary Estate with diplomacy, conservation, and a passion for learning.
These insights and more can be found in Lessons in Leadership at www.PGAVDestinations.com.