4 Square: What Summer Camp Directing Can Teach You About Magnetic Culture, with Chris Maslin, VP of HR & Organizational Development at Biltmore
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“Who are the people who need to serve on your personal board of directors? Does that personal board include people younger than you?” – Chris Maslin, VP of Talent and Organizational Development, The Biltmore Company
The Native Digital: Hannah (Age 24)
The Native Analog: Chris Maslin (Age 42)
In this episode of Hannah Grady Williams: Native Digital + Native Analog, you will hear a former summer-camp director turned luxury hospitality executive relive the tale of transitioning from throwing a 4-square ball with middle schoolers, to leading the talent strategy of a 5th-generation, family-owned company with 2000+ employees, established by George W. Vanderbilt in 1895.
Chris Maslin is the VP of HR & Organizational Development for The Biltmore Company. His daily work is overseeing the recruiting, engagement, and learning & development efforts for all employees, as well as leading strategic planning efforts for the executive team.
Biltmore Estate is America’s Largest Home, and a world-renowned provider of Gracious Hospitality. The company has also been ranked in the top 100 Best & Brightest Employers to work for, and it’s my personal belief this is strongly correlated to the work of Chris’ department directly.
Chris is a speaker and facilitator as well through Biltmore’s Center for Professional Development, and through this work, has trained hundreds of leaders how to take the insights from luxury hospitality and apply it to their business as a competitive advantage.
But unlike his gigs on stage and in the board room, in this episode, you’ll get to hear his heart on a deeper level, including how he teaches his young son (10) and daughter (13) leadership skills on a daily basis, and how other parents can use those same practices.
Leading with a Personal Brand
“I work every day to show up online the same way you would experience me in person.” – Chris Maslin
Chris and I agreed that online branding can quickly become inauthentic, especially when you build a business (coaching, training, etc.) build around a certain persona.
We discussed that when Native Digitals (Chris’ kids!) and I put ourselves out online, we are open to vulnerabilities that were not as imminent for past generations.
What if every parent helped their kids digest, each night, “what did I do to help someone today?”, and “what did I accomplish today that I’m proud of?”
Reverse Mentorship & A Personal Board of Directors
The conversation shifted into mid-experience mentors. What if mentorship wasn’t just “senior teaches junior?” Instead, what if the attitude towards mentorship was simply “everyone is a mentor, and we can all offer unique perspectives”?
Chris presses that most people don’t see themselves as mentors. He hopes that young people will move towards people and “go first” in pursuing the learning opportunity.
As a leader for 15 years in the same organization, Chris shares practices for building a personal board of directors to lead and guide you as you make decisions as a business owner, director, or even mid-level manager.
Finally, Chris shares how to help your front-line supervisors to help their team understand their “why” and how it connects to the “organizational why" to create a magnetic culture.
Each of the supervisors at Biltmore is trained to ask their teams these questions that are in alignment with organizational goals:
- “What’s one thing you did to help support your teammates today?” (Employee Engagement goal)
- “What is one thing you did to provide Gracious Hospitality to our guests?” (Guest Satisfaction goal)
- “What’s one thing you did to create a profit for preservation (based on Biltmore’s mission)?” (Business Growth Goal)
Chris Maslin serves as the Vice President of HR and Organizational Development at Biltmore and Executive Director of the Biltmore Center for Professional Development. He has been a featured keynote speaker at many national conferences and consulted Fortune 500 companies. He's a fierce advocate for healthy workplace culture, authentic leadership and tacos.
Follow Chris on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/chris-maslin