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empowering leadership: how you can lift up and inspire others

A new generation of leaders has been receiving a lot of advice on how they can grow into a leadership role. But what about swapping the perspective? What can leaders do to be the role model they wished to have when starting out?

A conversation with Barbara Göttling, who has years of experience in diverse leadership roles and who’s general manager at Park Hyatt an exquisite luxury hotel in the heart of Vienna, took us closer to diving into this perspective. Barbara shares her valuable insights on what decision-makers can do to support a new generation of leaders best.

birgit rechberger-krammer

"Creating a culture of inclusion and well-being while providing opportunities for every individual to develop and grow, regardless of gender, is something I appreciate greatly about our work culture." - Barbara Göttling

care for your team

A genuine care about the people in your team and the conscious acknowledgment of their complex and vastly diverse life situations will help you manage them in a way that will be beneficial to both you as a leader and them as a team.

Barbara highlights, “At Hyatt, we hold a principle at the core of all our actions: We care for people so they can be their best. Creating a culture of inclusion and well-being while providing opportunities for every individual to develop and grow, regardless of gender, is something I appreciate greatly about our work culture.”

in practice

Aim to implement the following quick actions to your work:

  • At the beginning of weekly meetings spend a few minutes to get to know your team members better. You can easily do this with ice-breaker questions, such as “If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?”

  • Keep the birthdays of your team members documented and celebrate them with personal wishes.

aim to work on projects you genuinely enjoy - only that’s how you can give your best

Barbara believes that passion drives excellence, "My recent step into the role of General Manager here at Park Hyatt Vienna has been a rewarding journey. I always say that if you do the things you love every day, the joy of coming to work and doing this together with an amazing team is incredibly fulfilling and the best motivator to always strive for more."

To be a leader that inspires and uplifts others you need to prioritize your needs also when it comes to the areas you work on. Doing what you enjoy in your daily work life enables you to perform at the highest standard possible.

time to reflect

  • What are the projects that give you energy and which are the ones that drain you?

  • What can you do to minimize the projects in your life that don’t fulfill you?

think about your employees as if they were your mentees

Your team isn’t only there to help you get things done. They’re on their own professional development journey and you can be the person who can help them reach their goals.

If you treat your team members as if they were your mentees you won’t only grow as a leader but you’ll also work more efficiently together. Barbara emphasizes the importance of mentorship, stating, “Throughout my career, and especially during my time so far at Park Hyatt Vienna, I’ve always had great mentors, like the previous General Manager, Monique Dekker, who have pushed me and provided new opportunities to grow. I have always been a person to say “yes” to any challenge presented, so I was happy to always go the extra mile.”

She also highlighted that at Hyatt there’s an initiative for women to “support, inspire, and celebrate each other, with a vision to create a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion that allows everyone to be their best selves.”

in practice

Try to implement the following elements when working with your team:

  • Give constructive but encouraging feedback on the deliverables of your team members. Highlight what they can do differently in the future.

  • Set aside time for (bi)monthly check-in sessions with clear expectations and goal-setting for the personal and professional development of your team members.

believe you can be that role model for others

Role models matter, particularly for women. But the shift to becoming a role model for others can be a tough one. It takes courage, responsibility, and dedication to step on this path.. Believing and internalizing that you’re capable of doing so is the first step to becoming the role model you wish you had.

Barbara also motivates us to “Embrace a growth mindset and be open to different opportunities. Let everyone around you know what you like to achieve and where you want to go next. And then be brave and say yes. It’s worth it.”

You can allow yourself to believe that you can be a role model for others.

time to reflect

  • What do you need to become a role model?

  • What are the underlying beliefs that hold you back from being the role model you want to be?

to lead, one needs to grow

While providing a new generation of leaders with advice on how they can get better, it’s equally important to slow down and reflect on what we, as leaders, can do to be better role models for the new generation.

As Barabra shares: “Depending on the stage you’re at in your career, there are always different challenges. Something we, as women, can keep at the forefront of our minds when operating in the business world alongside men—is that we are allowed to be a little bit braver. Comfort and growth do not coexist.”

We can allow ourselves to take up more space, inspire and lead others.

about Barbara:

Barbara Göttling has been part of the Park Hyatt team for over 10 years. In her current position as general manager, it’s especially important to her to contribute to a work environment where other women can thrive. She has recently been awarded the 'Leading Employer 2024' prize. This recognition places Park Hyatt Vienna in the top 1% of employers in Austria.

about the Women@Hyatt program:

The Women@Hyatt program is an initiative where women support, inspire, and celebrate each other, with a vision to create a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Women@Hyatt program features three different pillars - Awareness, Development, and Networking - and is organized into country-wide chapters. These chapters regularly host membership meetings that include relevant programs to achieve the key goal of creating opportunities for networking, professional development, and wellness support for women at all levels of the organization. Some also host volunteer opportunities in collaboration with local non-profit organizations and our corporate responsibility team.


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