High Flyers: Every challenge is an opportunity to learn for Lynsey

In the High Flyers spotlight this week is Lynsey Gordon, general manager at the Rabbit Hotel & Retreat

Lynsey Gordon

What was your first job?

When I was 15 my mum got me a job in a local restaurant working in the kitchen doing dishes. After my first shift, I told her I didn’t want to go back - nearly 20 years later I’m still in the industry so something clearly changed. It turns out the kitchen wasn’t for me, but I loved the front of house and the customer interaction.

What qualifications do you have?

I’ve got a degree in public relations from Leeds Metropolitan University and a Diploma in Leadership & Management. Although I don’t work directly in the PR industry I still use elements of my degree every day.

What do you attribute your success to?

Being stubborn! I really like understanding how things work and I get frustrated when I can’t do something. I’m the person that will watch the YouTube tutorial, scroll through the online forums or read the manual until I can figure it out and not give up. It’s a great motto in business as well - don’t give up, focus of the positives and every challenge is an opportunity to learn.

How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?

Passionate, creative and organised.

Who do you look up to in business?

I’ve worked with a lot of amazing people in the hospitality industry over the years but I have to say that the owners of Galgorm Collection always inspire me, and not just because they are my bosses. They’re innovative and have a real drive to create a unique product offering, continually reinvesting in their product and their staff has made them market leaders. I joined the company in 2005 as a receptionist and they have given me amazing opportunities to be where I am today.

How do you get the best out of the people who work with you?

I’d never ask someone to do something that I wouldn’t do myself, I’m happy to roll up my sleeves and get stuck in. It allows me to get to know the people who work alongside me. Understanding the challenges of their jobs and listening to them usually means we can overcome challenges together and everyone is focused on the same goal.

If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?

I love working in the hospitality sector in Northern Ireland and I don’t believe there is anywhere in the world where you get a warmer and more genuine welcome. We offer world class service and create unique experiences, so the thing that I would change is that even more people come to visit us.

What website or app could you not do without?

Definitely Amazon. I’d be lost without it!

What was the last book you read?

‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens. It’s a story about a young girl accused of murder, abandoned by her mother and left to grow up with her alcoholic father in North Carolina. It’s centred around a strong female character who has been forced to learn to survive living in the wild.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?

My dogs are called Rodney & Trigger - I'm a big Only Fools & Horses fan.

What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?

I really love travelling and the outdoors and my holidays are normally spent hiking in the Alps or the Andes. My last pre-covid holiday was hiking a volcano in Columbia. It was amazing.

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