A great interview is a story. A story we hear and experience through the eyes of another. When this happens, we feel it personally, revealing a deeper insight into their journey to success and what motivates drives, and inspires them to keep going despite all the challenges.
When I meet with leaders, the conversation is always one of those “ah-ha” moments. I’ve never met anyone so committed to his craft and devoted to impacting people around him as Mr. Lee Issa. Mr. Issa is an incredible historical leader who is respected and loved by many on the island of Jamaica and worldwide. When you think about how hard he works, you start to see the connection between his work ethic and the great empire he built over many decades.
While visiting with Mr. Issa at his resort, we discussed leadership, investment, legacy, empathy, politics, vision casting, and much more, all while enjoying a delicious 5-star lunch.
“I provide a world-class experience for my guest, and it starts with paying attention to every little detail.” – Mr. Lee Issa.
Mr. Issa spoke about how important it was for leaders always to pay attention to details. He told a story about spotting a tiny scratch on a tile while walking around the resort. Mr. Issa mentioned that the blemish on the tile wouldn’t have caused any discomfort for the guests or his employees working at the resort. However, he said that most people would have overlooked the scratch in the tile because it was just a simple scratch. Most would consider it insignificant; after all, these things happen, but not Mr. Issa. He felt a leader should never allow what most would view as the small stuff to slide without the right level of attention. The minor issues often grow into more significant problems if left unattended. He was so adamant about fixing the tiny scratch in the tile that he called the resident engineer and asked him to get a piece of sandpaper to buff out the scratch as he continued to enjoy our lunch meeting.
Many more anecdotes were shared during lunch, and I would love to write about them all, however, experiencing how Mr. Issa thought and reacted to things in real-time impacted me and my journey as a leader. After lunch and an in-depth tour of the Couples Resort, I was clear about the “stuff” needed to become a leader leading on this level.
I now look at all issues, large or small, with a microscope and evaluate each one based on potential impact rather than its immediate risk. I challenge all leaders to pay attention to the “little things” as much as the major ones and celebrate each one as a win with the mindset that you eliminated a future potential problem.