Q&A with the Inspiring Joel Victoria sharing his best advice…

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Joel Victoria, Marketing Director, AAT Kings

Fortune Favours The BOLD

Helene Taylor sits down with Joel Victoria, Managing Director for AAT Kings for an inspiring Q&A.

What is your proudest career moment so far?

I honestly can’t isolate one career highlight moment.

I’m proud of where I am today. I’m proud of where I’ve come from to get here. Every step forward is a source of pride. Every project successfully completed provides a sense of achievement.

If there is one thing that is indeed a source of heartfelt pride, it would be seeing the people you’ve worked with and mentored, achieve great things in their own careers. Moving on from working with you and paving their own career path. I don’t think you’re ever 100% sure of your skills and abilities.

It’s incredibly valuable to have someone encourage and challenge you to become the best version of yourself. I was lucky enough to have some fantastic mentors in my past, and even luckier today to have some amazing people in my life who push me beyond my comfort zone.

To pay this forward, I feel it’s your duty to mentor and nurture team members into the best professionals they can possibly be.

What opportunities came easy and what ones did you have to push for?

I don’t think any opportunity ever comes easily. There’s usually a great deal of work, preparation and tenacity involved. My biggest career milestones didn’t just come along. They were the result of monitoring market trends, working with an engaged team married with an understanding of your product and your target audience. Being constantly open to new ideas and looking outside your industry is also a great way to find opportunities.

What is the biggest hurdle you have overcome in your career so far? And what did you learn?

Moving overseas to work in Malaysia presented so many challenges. Three different religions. Different cultures. Different work norms.

I’ve gained an appreciation of the nuances of communication. When you work in the culture and environment you’ve grown up in, you don’t realise how much you take for granted.

We underestimate the implied meanings of our communication and our expectations of comprehension. You don’t have to think too much about it when you’re communicating in your native language. Place yourself in a completely different cultural setting and the dynamics change. I now have an appreciation of the value of simple, succinct and precise communication. There’s so much to be gained from working with various people of different backgrounds and cultures. The diversity that surrounds and inspires you is invigorating. Letting go of previously held assumptions to ensure comprehension is a fascinating learning exercise.

What do more businesses need to do differently? And what change would you like to see the industry embrace?

Companies should better leverage the experience and knowledge of their seasoned staff, from the front line through to executive levels. Who else knows your business better? The benefits of engagement, accountability and empowerment boost the outcomes of projects. It’s that classic case of the answer to your problem being right in front of you – in the collective minds of your own staff. There’s a wealth of knowledge in your teams, you just have to find ways to harness this valuable resource. Therefore, the change I’d like to see would be more cross-functional customer-centric projects tasked to internal resources.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Over prepare. There may be people in that important meeting who will be smarter than you. There may be people in that important meeting who are more experienced in the particular field than you. There may be people in that important meeting who are just naturally gifted in your industry. So invest that extra time and effort in your preparation work because there probably won’t be that many people in that important meeting who will go that extra mile. It’ll imbues you with an invaluable sense of confidence.

What life quote or “motto” do you live by?

“Fortune favours the bold.” It originates from a Latin proverb with various iterations. To me this speaks of your ability to shape your own destiny through your actions and choices. Whether it be in your personal life or your career, there will be decisions that only *you* can make and the outcomes will rest solely on your shoulders. That builds character.

What daily tasks would you encourage others to embrace?

Manage your own work-in-progress document and conduct a daily check-in on yourself.

I can’t function properly without my work-in-progress document. People who’ve worked with me know I carry it to every meeting, I update it with new information from meetings, I jot down new ideas on that document.

I’ve used this format for years. It has four sections:

– Top Projects are my key seven to eight projects. I’m very strict about keeping it to that number. As the name suggest these are my personal top projects aligned squarely with the business goals and objectives. Once it gets beyond eight – it’s time to sit down with your manager and discuss prioritising your projects. I don’t believe you can work on too many projects personally and deliver a quality outcome for the business.

– Current Projects are the key projects in flow with your team. This is essentially a collection of their top projects.

– Keep in view is the repository for those left-of-field ideas.  Ideas that could help deliver the business objectives but needs further investigation and refinement. Sources could be a comment in a meeting, something learnt at a seminar that you want to implement, or even that email addressed to you, about a project that has no budget allocation, no alignment to current business objectives but you know will come up in a meeting somewhere sometime and you’d best have it noted down.

– Completed Projects is a curated list of your completed key projects. You’ll be referring to this section during performance appraisals. It’s so easy to forget and overlook your past achievements. This section makes that process a breeze. At the end of your day, review your work in progress document and ensure you’re working on the right projects, that your team are working on the right projects and that you’re collectively aligned to the business objectives. Then consider whether you’ve progressed forward as a result of today’s activities and meetings. Look forward in your calendar – a day, next week, next month – and ascertain that you’re on track. Make any necessary adjustments It’s a simple scan that enhances project linkages, interdependencies and stakeholder management.

Tips for success and advice for growing your career?

Forget perfect – get to market.

No one will be singing your praises if you’ve promised the board twenty projects and at the end of the year have delivered three of them perfectly whilst the other 17 are still being refined. It sounds simple but requires constant development of your understanding of your target audience’s behaviours, your project management skills as well as your stakeholder management skills.

You still have to deliver a quality project.

You have to balance what you are willing to compromise on versus what is sacrosanct for the guest experience.

Your topic for the Inspiring Women Leaders Event 2017 was focused on “Random Acts Of Kindness & The Power Of Generosity Marketing” What key points do you want people to remember & embrace from this?

The power of generosity and gratitude can enhance your team engagement, supplier relationships and market presence. Bring out your inner child to surprise and delight others in a work context to transform your career life.

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Joel Victoria, Marketing Director, AAT Kings

Article written early 2017 by JC Inspire.

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