One of the biggest complaints about Whistler is: “I can’t afford to live here.”
I heard it again just recently from a waiter who was serving us dinner. He couldn’t see how he was going to carve out a future here, buy a home, settle down, one day perhaps raise family. He was getting ready to leave.
Why, I asked? There is no better place in the world to grow roots than Whistler, no better place to raise children. This is a place of opportunity… for those who are ready to take it, for those who believe they can make it.
Henry Ford was right on the mark when he said: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.”
Here’s what I know, after stepping into the Longhorn at 23 years old and working my way up. True, I got my foot in the door because it was my dad’s business.
I could have survived there quite happily, watching the bar coast along in its success. But I wanted more. And, perhaps more importantly, I believed we could get more. I made the people around me believe it too.
Not content with the status quo, we started to ask some questions.
How can we make the business better? How can we grow? What are our targets? Who is our market and what do they want? These are the very questions we continue to ask ourselves. This is how we challenge our team.
Now, more than 15 years later, the Gibbons organization doesn’t look like it did when I first stepped in as a busboy at the Longhorn.
Whistler is having one of the best years in its history and that just fuels the fire, makes us hungrier for more.
Our senior leadership team at Gibbons understands this concept perhaps better than anyone else. They all started at entry-level positions, hustling après or slinging drinks late night. They’ve worked their way up through our organization, understanding the importance of results, helping us grow, taking us to the next level. They have put down roots in Whistler and made their lives here, developing successful careers.
So here’s what I say to the people who think Whistler is too expensive — anyone can make it here.
If you can show you’ve got the ability take a business and make it better, then you have leverage. And when you have leverage, you have power.
Those are the kind of people we’re looking for at Gibbons.
We’ve set this stage within our companies.
My biggest expectation now is for my senior leadership team to begin developing the people coming up behind them — each of them mentoring the next five people on the team, showing them how to get results, showing them the importance of taking the business to the next level.
The goal is to have a culture of progress and innovation and support permeating throughout the organization, a life force on its own that fosters growth, rewards results and develops talent. There’s a lot of strength and power in an organization like that, not to mention a lot of opportunity for people who want to make it here.
Believe you can. That thought alone has the power to change everything.
Feature Photo: Mike Crane – Tourism Whistler