Skål International Koh Samui hosts first Ladders for Leaders workshop


Koh Samui, Thailand, May 9, 2013 – The Skål International-Samui club welcomed international councilor for Skål Thailand, Scott Michael Smith to the island. Scott, Assumption University’s Course Coordinator in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism and popular industry trainer organized a very special training seminar for future leaders. The Ladders for Leaders workshop included attendance at the Skål International-Samui dinner held beachside and expertly hosted by Doeke Bonga, general manager of the Imperial Boathouse- Samui.

The afternoon began with a Guanxi Networking activity followed by The Spirit of Hospitality program, offering the latest training strategies to deliver exceptional service. Imperial Boathouse GM Doeke welcomed participants and while multi-tasking, continued to contribute during the workshop, offering advice, insights and sharing experiences with participants. “Having seen Scott in action, I found he made a clear connection with future leaders, quickly identifying their needs, broadening mindsets and providing great tools to develop themselves and their teams,” said Doeke. The ‘out of the box’ coffee break organized by Imperial Boathouse food & beverage manager, Praiboon Kunthawee, ensured that participants were treated like the VIPs that they are.

Future leaders gather for a group photo after the workshop.Future leaders gather for a group photo after the workshop.

The day continued with an energetic workshop focused on improving management, leadership and coaching skills. Future Leaders from the IBIS Samui led their teams while demonstrating the different skill sets needed of managers and leaders. Robert Grundmann, IBIS management trainee offered, “It’s always great to be reminded of the importance of quality service, which can be forgotten during busy operation time.” Kirill Mokronosov, IBIS front office manager agreed, saying, “This training helped me to get a better perspective of my own management style. I am now more aware of the difference between managing and leading.”

Scott explains, “The Ladders for Leaders workshop was designed specifically for future leaders of Skål International Thailand member’s organizations. These wonderful, young, and talented leaders are clearly destined for great things.” This program was created to encourage future leaders to inspire all team members to strive for service excellence and create memorable guest experiences. Participants received a Spirit of Hospitality Certificate and the tools needed to bring the Spirit of Hospitality back to their property to be included in the very important New Staff Orientation seminar for their property or as part of an ongoing training strategy.  The one-day program included several short videos, many energizing activities, thoughtful discussions, a few lectures and many surprises. The workshop was presented in English with Thai translations.

The afternoon began with a Guanxi Networking activity.The afternoon began with a Guanxi Networking activity.

The Skål International-Samui club sponsored this Skål Ladders for Leaders program. “It was great to have Scott down here on our beautiful island and share his extensive knowledge with our future leaders. I can highly recommend the Ladders for Leaders program to anyone wanting to develop managers into leaders. Also the combination with the Skål dinner giving participants the chance to mingle with senior Skål members & leaders was very much appreciated by all. Thank you Scott,” said Michael Biedermann, Skål Samui president.

Future workshops are scheduled to held later this year for all six Skål clubs in Thailand, including Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Phuket and Chiang Mai. Having experienced the Ladders for Leaders workshop firsthand, Imperial Boathouse GM Doeke advises, “Skål hotels could really benefit from Scott’s training programs tailored to their property. Benefits include energized team leaders with a renewed commitment to management and leadership, eager to identify and exceed guest expectations and deliver exceptional service every time.”

The beachside set-up for the Skål dinner following the workshop was impressive. “My first impression when seeing the spectacular beachside set-up complete with full bar and bountiful buffet was, who’s getting married?” Scott joked. “I was assured by Skål Samui members that these fantastic beachside settings are the norm!”

The beachside set-up for the Skål dinner following the workshop was impressive.

Scott then reminded Skål Samui members that their vibrant club is an important part of the Skål International organization of over 17,000 members in 450 clubs throughout 85 nations. Amazed at the incredibly beautiful beachside set up Scott shared, “Of the 6,000 plus Skål events held worldwide, the Skål Samui’s events are truly inspiring, offering an incredible value, an exceptional opportunity for networking and a great chance to live the Skål motto, Doing Business with Friends.”

Scott also shared his experiences at the recent International Councilors meeting before leading members in the traditional Skål toast, “Wishing members happiness, good health, friendship and long life.”

Please contact your local Skål club for more information and to reserve space for the next Ladders for Leaders seminar.