Skal International Koh Samui hosts first Ladders for Leaders workshop


KOH SAMUI, Thailand – The Skal International-Samui club welcomed International Councilor for Skal Thailand, Scott Michael Smith, to the island. Scott, Assumption University’s Course Coordinator in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism and popular industry trainer, organized a very special training seminar for future leaders. The Ladders for Leaders workshop included attendance at the Skal International-Samui dinner held beachside and expertly hosted by Doeke Bonga, General Manager of the Imperial Boathouse, Samui.

The afternoon began with a Guanxi Networking activity followed by The Spirit of Hospitality program, offering the latest training strategies to deliver exceptional service. Imperial Boathouse GM Doeke welcomed participants and while multi-tasking, continued to contribute during the workshop, offering advice, insights, and sharing experiences with participants.

“Having seen Scott in action, I found he made a clear connection with future leaders, quickly identifying their needs, broadening mindsets, and providing great tools to develop themselves and their teams,” said Doeke. The ‘out of the box’ coffee break organized by Imperial Boathouse Food & Beverage Manager, Praiboon Kunthawee, ensured that participants were treated like the VIPs that they are.

The day continued with an energetic workshop focused on improving management, leadership, and coaching skills. Future Leaders from the IBIS hotel, Samui led their teams while demonstrating the different skill sets needed of managers and leaders. Robert Grundmann, IBIS management trainee offered, “It’s always great to be reminded of the importance of quality service, which can be forgotten during busy operation time.” Kirill Mokronosov, IBIS Front Office Manager agreed, saying, “This training helped me to get a better perspective of my own management style. I am now more aware of the difference between managing and leading.”

Scott explains: “The Ladders for Leaders workshop was designed specifically for future leaders of Skal International Thailand member’s organizations. These wonderful, young, and talented leaders are clearly destined for great things.” This program was created to encourage future leaders to inspire all team members to strive for service excellence and create memorable guest experiences. Participants received a Spirit of Hospitality Certificate and the tools needed to bring the Spirit of Hospitality back to their property to be included in the very important New Staff Orientation seminar for their property or as part of an ongoing training strategy. The one-day program included several short videos, many energizing activities, thoughtful discussions, a few lectures, and many surprises. The workshop was presented in English with Thai translations.

The Skal International-Samui club sponsored this Skal Ladders for Leaders program. “It was great to have Scott down here on our beautiful island and share his extensive knowledge with our future leaders. I can highly recommend the Ladders for Leaders program to anyone wanting to develop managers into leaders. Also the combination with the Skal dinner giving participants the chance to mingle with senior Skal members and leaders was very much appreciated by all. Thank you Scott,” said Michael Biedermann, Skal Samui President.

Future workshops are scheduled to be held later this year for all six Skal clubs in Thailand, including Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Phuket, and Chiang Mai. Having experienced the Ladders for Leaders workshop firsthand, Imperial Boathouse GM Doeke advises: “Skal hotels could really benefit from Scott’s training programs tailored to their property. Benefits include energized team leaders with a renewed commitment to management and leadership, eager to identify and exceed guest expectations, and deliver exceptional service every time.”

The beachside set-up for the Skal dinner following the workshop was impressive. “My first impression when seeing the spectacular beachside set-up complete with full bar and bountiful buffet was, who’s getting married?” Scott joked. “I was assured by Skal Samui members that these fantastic beachside settings are the norm!”
Scott then reminded Skal Samui members that their vibrant club is an important part of the Skal International organization of over 18,000 members in 450 clubs throughout 85 nations. Amazed at the incredibly beautiful beachside set up Scott shared, “Of the 6,000 plus Skal events held worldwide, Skal Samui’s events are truly inspiring, offering an incredible value, an exceptional opportunity for networking and a great chance to live the Skal motto, Doing Business with Friends.”

Scott also shared his experiences at the recent International Councilors meeting before leading members in the traditional Skal toast, “Wishing members happiness, good health, friendship, and long life.”

Please contact your local Skal club for more information and to reserve space for the next Ladders for Leaders seminar.