The Business of Meetings – Episode 132: Managing The Book On You with Dr. Lalia Rach
We are delighted to speak with Dr. Lalia Rach, the Executive Managing Director of Strategic Consulting Services for ALHI (Associated Luxury Hotels International), today!
Lalia has just written Managing the Book on You. She talks about her experiences, discusses why she wrote her book and shares some great stories and insights about leadership.
We hope you enjoy listening to today’s riveting conversation with Dr. Lalia Rach!
Dr. Lalia Rach is the executive managing director of Strategic Consulting Services, a division of Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI). In this role, Lalia is responsible for developing and delivering strategic and managerial consulting services to member hotels and clients.
Each service is custom designed so the information, guidance, and training result in greater value to the organization and the attendee.
She is known for her practical, informative, and entertaining presentations whether a keynote speech, a workshop, or MC a conference. An audience favorite as demonstrated by repeat engagements and survey feedback, Lalia prides herself on uniquely crafting each presentation to fit the needs of the client and their audience.
Her first book “Managing the Book on You: Rewriting your leadership story!” is available on Amazon in paperback and kindle. An audible version will be coming in late September.
Designed as a workbook to assist leaders in advancing their success and to better manage old impressions and views held by others within the organization about their leadership ability.
As the founder and partner of Rach Enterprises, a consulting firm that takes an uncommon sense approach and delivers genuine ideas that challenge tradition, Lalia served as a trusted adviser to senior-level executives at many leading organizations.
As a university educator, Lalia served as dean of several top hospitality and tourism programs. At New York University her leadership ability resulted in the creation of one of the world’s most innovative graduate and undergraduate programs in the business of hospitality, sports, and tourism.
Among her awards and honors are recipient of the Smart Women in Meetings: Visionary from Smart Meetings Magazine; the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing from Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International; selected as one of the 33 Most Influential People in the Travel Industry from Travel Weekly; featured in “Meet the 25 Most Influential Women in Travel” by Forbes Life Executive Woman; recipient of the Professional of the Year Award from Big Apple Chapter Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association and recipient of the Special Hospitality Award recipient from NYC & Co.
She holds a B.S. and M.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and a doctorate from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Lalia ’s story
Lalia grew up in a teeny, tiny town with only 800 inhabitants. Her grandmother owned a restaurant, her parents owned a bar and grill, and Laila has worked in the restaurant and lodging industry from fifteen years of age. She put herself through college by working in a busy restaurant and then went to work in a hotel. Her career started after she got placed in a management position and had to become a leader. She loved the idea of helping the people she worked with be better!
Lalia majored in the liberal arts in college and went back later to do a Master’s degree in business. Several years later, she went to George Washington University to get a Doctorate in Higher Education. Her college education taught her to think.
When the time came for Lalia to move into general management, she did not want to do it.
Finding her calling
She saw an ad in an industry magazine for a faculty member at one of the hotel schools in the United States, applied for the position, and got hired. She worked far harder as a teacher than she ever would have as a general manager, but she found her calling there. She is an excellent teacher because she loves to learn!
Lalia points out that not all leadership is natural. A lot of it comes from learning and experience. Her job as a leader is to ensure that her team is always functioning better than they did before.
You have to be prepared
Laila got turned down for a faculty position she applied for because she did not prepare. That taught her the professional lesson that you have to be prepared.
New York University
NYU decided to start a hospitality and tourism center. Laila became the founding dean and spent the next 18 years there. That was when she discovered that she had leadership qualities.
Good leaders can impact the lives of those who report directly to them and others. Intangibles, like emotional intelligence and maturity, make people better leaders. Good leaders will acknowledge their weaknesses and allow their team to tell them how to solve a problem even if they already know how to do it.
Teach to your strengths
Many years ago, someone told Lalia that to be successful as a teacher, she had to quit trying to be the best student in the class and teach to her strengths to help her students learn.
Consulting, speaking and working with strategies
Lalia began to consult while she was Dean of NYU. She did project work that included assessments and evaluations and also began speaking. Her consulting and speaking businesses grew, and eventually, presidents and CEOs started asking her to assist them in putting their strategies into practice. After some time, she realized she was done with higher education and went full-time into consulting.
Leadership is universal
Lalia realized that she doubted her ability even though she had proven it. So she began to explore how she self-sabotaged and lost confidence. That prompted her to get into C-suite executive coaching, and through that, she learned that even though every leader is different, leadership is universal.
Writing a book
When Covid came, Layla began to write a book to help people develop as professionals and advance their careers. It was a two-year process, and finding a book coach kept her writing and pushed her to complete the book.
In her book, Lalia tells stories about herself and her clients, all of which are true. She advises people to do the necessary work after reading the book. She also encourages men not to be put off because her book has been written from a female perspective.
How to show others that you have changed
To show others that you have changed, you must be sincere and not take things personally. Pay attention and be willing to catch yourself when you fall back on old patterns.
Working for ALHI has been a great learning opportunity for Laila, and Strategic Consulting Services has been a value-add plus more for ALHI.
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Connect with Dr. Lalia Rach
Get your copy of Dr. Laila Rach’s book, Managing the Book on You: Rewriting your leadership story, from Amazon.
Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg