Please take note that Rick often tells me if I wrote more about him in my blog, my blog “would get more hits.” He also has a grandiose idea to start a blog and write the male version of my posts. I question his first point and I strongly favor his second point and think it would be hilarious. And coincidentally, I think his blog would actually end up “get more hits” than my blog which is annoying and funny at the same time. At any rate, this is my first “ode to Rick” blog post not because I want more hits, because sometimes we just have to high-five our husbands via social media. Who’s with me?!
After five months in the making, today marks Rick’s first day on the job as the General Manager of the W South Beach Hotel. It also marks April Fools Day, which, if you knew my husband, it is very ironic that he starts a new job on this otherwise prankster-esque day. Let’s just say he once put a fake cockroach in my gym shoe and laughed for days about my less-than-silent reaction. One of many, many pranks pulled under our roof. Not sure any cockroach pranks at the W hotel will bode well.
Since I have known Rick, he has worked at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. And has loved every second of it. Well, most seconds of it. And hearing about his past career stories is so fun for me. How he began his career 31 years ago as a dishwasher at the Westin Seattle. How he worked the overnight shift as a front desk manager and was responsible for hand-delivering hard copies of guest folios under each guest room door, spanning two towers, almost 900 rooms, night after night after night for one year straight. All in the name of climbing the hotel ladder and becoming a general manager one day. And then he left Seattle, living with his parent’s, and moved to Maui where he worked his way up at The Westin Maui to the Director of Rooms. Then to Detroit (yeah, that transition was rough) as the Director of Operations at the Westin Renaissance Center. Then to San Antonio and off to Frisco, where, in 200, he held his first GM job at The Westin Stonebriar Resort. Then back to San Antonio at The Westin Riverwalk as the GM for 4 years. And in 2005 to Chicago for 9 years. And today, April 1, 2014, to Miami.
And so it begins. A new hotel, a new city, a new chapter. And the best part is I have the privilege and honor to be a part of this chapter with him. I am beyond proud of his work ethic, his commitment to this business, his passion to lead and love people well. It’s a double win for me as not only do I get to enjoy watching him fly, I also get to learn a TON from him. I would say much of my leadership growth (and trust me, it’s a work-in-progress) has come from either watching him/listening to him or actively seeking his advice. He is humble, firm, caring and risky. He is a story-teller, a collaborator, a creator and a fighter. He knows how to focus, when to focus and when to have fun and play hard. He isn’t the best listener any of us have ever met, but, we love him anyways and we suppose all those good things outweigh that whole listening thing, right?! In his defense, he knows this and is working on it (thanks to 5+ years of couples therapy and some great dudes holding him accountable).
It’s a beautiful thing to watch your husband flourish in a job he loves so much. In fact, one may argue this is even a “job” for Rick. It’s his calling, it’s where pain and passion collide and it’s a place he can make a difference in people’s lives. Oh and of course, to the top and bottom lines of the hotel, too. It’s exhilarating and challenging and keeps us both on our toes. And the best part of all of this (and what he and I both continue to learn and grow in), is the reality that our careers are 5th – at best – in our life line. God. Spouse. Children. Family/Friends. Career. And the irony is when you follow this seemingly odd order, it creates the best order in your life and the most peaceful, rewarding, unbelievable outcomes. I have watched Rick live this out, not perfectly but with valiant effort, and it truly is remarkable the joy that comes from prioritizing life in this way. And I am excited for this to continue in Miami 🙂
And so, Ricky Rick, this blog post is for you. You will no doubt be challenged in your new role. You will face bumps in the road. But, you will have fun. You will grow even more. And you will succeed. High-five, honey.