Featured Spotlight - Deirdre Strunk (Canyon Ranch Spa Club in Las Vegas)
My interview with Deirdre was another one of my favorite interviews! We could have chatted all day about the topics that not only I am super passionate about, but she is as well. In fact, when we did this interview, she was on her way to Los Angeles for an Emotional Intelligence Conference, and that in itself speaks volumes about the kind of leader Deirdre is. Learning, growing, evolving, while embracing the skills that are respected and appreciated in the hospitality industry - it is her deep understanding of leadership, that I wanted to further shine a light on.
Many of you who know me, are aware that I have a lot of interests, talents, and gifts; and have done many wonderful things in my life. The common thread weaving together all that I have done, is my love of people and my fascination with my own journey as well as others. Growth, expansion, and purpose, while enjoying and embracing the process, is fascinating to me.
Shining a spotlight on those who are authentic and heart centered, while they are leading, is something I feel is more important now than ever. In a society where many have to suppress their feelings and emotions at work; are in toxic work environments where they do not feel heard; are not encouraged to participate individual ideas, perspectives or opinions; etc... it is extremely refreshing to speak with those leaders who encourage team participation and open hearted connection, while maintaining a truly healthy and "well" work environment and culture. Our work is supposed to be a place where we can be ourselves, and be appreciated for our unique perspectives and talents we offer. True leaders understand this and want to bring out the best and highest potential in everyone.
#wellness at work
#wellness is wholeness
#happy at work
It is my hope that we can all learn and grow by engaging in meaningful conversations such as these, that can benefit the whole. What kinds of unique perspectives do these leaders bring to their brand, and how do they relate to their team? In addition, do their employees, on all levels, feel appreciated and valued by those that lead? What is it about these leaders as individuals? And what does it also say about their companies and brands that are thriving in the workplace wholeness space?
My interview with Deirdre, is below...
Me: When did you start with Canyon Ranch?
Deirdre: Approximately 3 years ago.
My take away:
Deirdre is really good at following what feels good. Her instincts, as well as focus, have served her in all she has done to date. Her vast experience in service and hospitality has included working at Westin, South Pointe, and now Canyon Ranch. She has her yoga certification, as well as her aesthetician and massage licenses. Those who possess the innate skills of sensitivity towards others and the capacity to have compassion for another, coupled with the relevant education and training, will always excel in whatever role they are in. Deirdre's ability to be a presence and a safe space for sharing (especially in a work environment), and genuinely wanting the best for every individual are some of the highest most treasured qualities any company should look for, when looking for leaders.
#sensitivity towards others
#compassion at work
#presence at work
#cheerleader for others
Me: Are you a water sign? (sun sign water)
My take away:
Having studied astrology for years, I felt intuitively like Deirdre's sun sign was in a water sign, or she has a lot of water in her chart. It is quite evident speaking with her, that she is super intuitive, and is really good at following her inner guidance. It is my belief that our hearts and our guts hold all the keys to our ultimate happiness, and it is up to us to pay attention and listen!
Me: What is your favorite part of your role at Canyon Ranch?
Deirdre: Watching my team thrive. My team has individual goals as well as team goals. Individual goals reach significant and impressive heights. Incentives are highly effective in terms of motivation as well as team morale.
My take away:
We are all here to grow and evolve as individuals and as teams. The synergy of Deirdre's team speaks volumes. The way they have their incentives set up make for a forward focused thriving team environment. (choosing a day off per year, with pay (any day), dollar incentives, etc..) Deirdre understands the basic premise, that rewarding individuals within a team, as well as the team itself, result in a company and culture that excels and thrives.
#all about the team
#creative team building
#power of creative vision
Me: The amount of emotional intelligence and heart centeredness you demonstrate is super refreshing in times where most leaders are not present and compassionate with their teams. Many companies and leaders are solely interested in numbers, profits, and are mainly task oriented. How are you able to remain so authentically centered in your role, and encourage the things that matter most?
Deirdre: When there is too much focus on money, the morale tends to be poor. When companies put money before people it doesn’t make businesses successful. I believe that people first before money, and it has worked exceptionally well for myself, and my teams.
My take away:
Deirdre has invested lots of her heart and love into getting her team to where they are today. Whether it is her bringing in donuts on a Saturday morning, or asking one of her staff what their favorite childhood memory is, she provides a sacred space for others to truly be themselves, and provides the atmosphere where members of her team can say whatever is on their mind. She understands how to help open up those who may have walls around them, and really wants people to thrive and be at their best! She leads with an open heart, and provides a culture where individuals can thrive.
#leaders are approachable
#leading with heart
#thrive at work
Me: Do you have any daily practices that help to keep you so present, available, and loving?
Deirdre: Four years ago, I signed up for a Boot Camp challenge to lose 20 pounds. The challenge was to lose the weight, and then get your money back. I fell in love with the boot camp, lost 24 pounds, and got my money back, and continued. I go in the mornings, Monday thru Friday, and it is part of my routine. Every day it is something different - i.e. all body, all legs, running, etc. …
My take away:
Deidre not only has a strong refreshing mind, but also tends to her body. Whatever the "challenge," Deirdre embraces it, and ultimately masters it. She is a true leader in her demonstration of wholeness.
Me: I have noticed that you always return an email. Whether you are interested in a product or not, you are always so respectful. In a time where many in the Resort/ Spa industry do not respond to emails, how are you able to operate at this level of warmth, respect, and appreciation?
Deirdre: I value and respect other people's time. If someone takes the time to email me information on a product, even if it is not a "fit" for us, I still respond. I appreciate reps and vendors thinking of us, and I want to be respectful of their time as well.
My take away:
Especially in the times we are now in, time is one of our most significant resources. Valuing our own time and energy, as well as another's time and energy is the highest form of respect.
Me: What are the two words that best describe this year 2018 for you?
Deirdre: Fast and Exciting.
As mentioned, at the time of this interview, Deirdre was on her way to LA, and not only took the time to chat with me, but will make sure to enjoy some time with her husband and daughter while In California. The mutual love and support she and her husband share is beautiful and significant. They are indeed a strong team, and that makes for a strong family as well. Importantly, even though this year 2018, is both "fast" and "exciting" for many of us, it is important to make sure we take time out for fun, joy, and connection!
I loved this interview, and time spent chatting with Deirdre. I am so grateful she took the time to chat with me. Sharing time and deep connection with another is so valued and appreciated, especially
within one's work.
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