What's not to enjoy about building and operating adventure parks? Having been at it for 10 years I rarely lose sight of that. But one of the great perks of the job is that we are often asked whether a son or daughter of a friend or relative can come and work for us. That for me is a real privilege.
Very often, when those youngsters move on, I get a call or email from Mum or Dad. The summary is:
“What a difference! What did you do?”
I would love to take credit for it, but I can’t. Still...It makes me think. What do we do?
Nothing special. Nothing complicated. I feel very proud that our operation can help in building a young character.
The operations team at Mega Adventure with two SNCO's of The Coldstream Guards.
Firstly, I think it must be structure. This it is the first time that a teenager is introduced to the discipline of being in a certain place at a certain time without parental supervision. We let them know pretty quickly if they are “adrift”.
Then it is all about attitude and appetite, I come from a family of bright people of whom I was a bit of the black sheep! I self consciously measured most things in life by intellect. Now that I have run much of the long professional gauntlet, I’ll share one of my greatest learnings. Life and your success in it is born more of attitude than intellect.
A talented young lady worked with us in our early years and she did a great job at framing our work ethic and what we are all about. In this day and age we often wince when we read of ubiquitous and stereotyped "corporate ideals".
But this young lady, Nicky Grundy - hit it spot on for us.
A - Approach - Approach our guests with a positive , bright and welcoming demeanour.
E - Energy - Your energy is what transforms a great experience in to a fabulous one.
I - Initiative - Don’t wait to be told. Spot what needs to be done and do it.
O - Outstanding - Always go the extra mile. Make more effort than necessary.
U - Universal - Treat all creeds and colours the same - As if they were family.
These principles which we repeat each morning at the pre operations briefing are at the core of what we do, And judging by the feedback I get from parents, friends and many of our 160,000 guests each year, …they serve us well..