We love shouting about the people who make a truly positive impact in our industry and support our work and initiative, so we wanted to introduce you to Chris Godenir, one of our Otolo Mentors. For 18 years and to date, Chris has been working as a General Manager at The Peninsula All-Suite Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa. Awarded several times as best General Manager throughout the course of his career, Chris is a highly experienced Hotelier who has managed multiple properties globally.
Chris has many times been recognised for his contribution to the industry with his exceptional leadership and his out-of-the-box thinking. When it comes to moving his ideas forward, he holds a fearless approach, and his sense of initiative has been much appreciated by many companies in his career. Because of his unique ability to mentor and inspire, Chris couldn’t have been in a better place than being a Mentor at Otolo today! On Otolo, Chris is happy to share his extensive knowledge and skills about hotel operations, innovation and change and leadership development. He already brought many mentees to our platform and frequently shares incredible stories with our team, like the one of Mpho Mokoka.
Chris genuinely believes in empowering and developing his workforce internally and will surely be remembered for his commitment to changing the old-style hierarchical leadership (where the “boss” sits at the top of the pyramid to a circular style). Instead, his vision lies in a business leader who empowers employees to make decisions within their control and become responsible and accountable for their actions.
We wanted you to get to know Chris a bit better, so we asked him a few questions to understand his vision of hospitality.
Why do you think hospitality is a good career choice right now?
Hospitality is diverse and there are many career choices to select from. Coming out of the pandemic there has been much learnt and revolutionary change in how this industry operates with many career opportunities. The industry is currently experiencing a hangover from a past image of bad working conditions, long hours and poor pay, but the reality is it is truly shifting to a new way of being. If you want a career that is a lifestyle, with great versatility then this is for you.
What advice would you share with younger people who just started a career in hospitality?
Be yourself and speak out, be innovative and open to new ideas sharing your feelings with the right people and at the right time. If you do not find a fit where you are currently placed, look for another challenge but stay within the hospitality industry. There is a good career opportunity for all, it is finding an organization that shares your values. You need to be fearless and agile all the time and what you put in you will get out.