A Grand Man!

Fay Sharpe, founder of Fast Forward 15 introduces Andrew Mosley, her first Hero, in the series on (S)Hero’s: “I can’t quite believe it’s been 5 years since Andrew started on the FF15 programme. He’s been a brilliant mentor supporting 5 incredible mentees, he’s positive supportive and has been a source of advice and help for me personally.”

Who is Andrew Mosley?

“I was 14 years old when I decided I wanted to run a hotel. We were on holiday in Cornwall and out for a family meal. 2 young enthusiastic staff served us at our table. They got chatting to us and explained that they were loving the Cornish summer season serving breakfast, then going to the beach, then back for the dinner shift. In my youthful naivety it sounded like a great job. I was hooked!

Back home I started to look properly into what a career in hospitality looked like. I “cold called” the HR Manager at the Swallow Hotel in Northampton. She generously gave me her time (in person) to help me start my journey.  To this day I regret not remembering her name but, whoever you are, thank you!

On her advice I went on to do a management degree. 6 years after I left university I was promoted to my first General Management role. Just 14 years on from that meal in Cornwall I had achieved my dream!

Whilst I have no regrets about the decision I took back then in Cornwall (!) without doubt there have been challenges along the way, conflict being perhaps one of the most difficult things I have had to deal with. Early in my career, I ‘locked horns’ with my boss over something that I felt deeply passionate about to such an extent that, almost out of moral principle as much as anything, I decided to move on. I remember feeling very wounded and hurt at the time but, in my hour of need, people I trusted gave advice and guidance that reassured me that I was doing the right thing. And I learnt from the experience – notably that it is fine to stand up for what you believe in but also to share your feelings with people – it doesn’t make you weak or vulnerable. Moreover I learnt to never underestimate the power and importance of a strong emotional network.

The 2008 financial crash was a hugely turbulent time for most businesses – none more so than the hotel and events industry. It was shortly after the crash that I started at The Grand. Investment in the property was lacking, the team had been impacted by some significant cuts in headcount and, as such, the customer experience was average at best. We rallied together and agreed some exciting 5 year goals that we wrote down and repeatedly communicated throughout the business. As we started to see some successes, momentum and enthusiasm grew. We celebrated each step forward with the entire team. More momentum and more successes led to our investors’ confidence in The Grand returning and so capital was invested in the hotel. We achieved our targets as promised. IN less than 5 years we had grown the team from 200 to 300, increased sales by 50% and profit by 70%, fully refurbished the hotel and we were now delivering a product and service that meant our customers loved us again.

One of my career highs has been my time I have been a mentor wit Fast Forward 15. I enjoyed 5 glorious years on the programme and mentored some incredible women –  Kelsey, Amy, Alison, Amanda and Michelle. They have, in turn, undoubtedly inspired me to go on to better myself. Furthermore, such was the value I could see the mentees getting from FF15, in 2017 I reached out for some mentoring of my own.  It was another defining period in my personal development and helped me look forward to new personal and work-related break through goals. The Covid “break” in our business has given me the chance to re-evaluate those goals and to look forward again to what might be achievable in the future – and it’s very exciting!

Good mentors give sound advice but great mentors help you smash your goals.  If being mentored is something you have considered but never quite got round to sorting, then make that “cold call” (like I did to the lady at The Swallow Hotel that day!) and get the next exciting stage of your life underway. Who knows where it will take you?”