Paul Proctor is an internationally experienced executive with significant experience working in China and a performance-driven mindset. Paul has an extensive business background in both Operations and Commercial roles creating a unique blended skill set in quality international and multicultural hospitality environments. He is an MBA Graduate from Harvard Business School and has an undergraduate degree in International Hospitality Management. He has held a number of senior roles at IHG including, Head of Sales and Marketing Operations and Head of Commercial Performance.
Paul Proctor is newly elected as a member of the HSMAI Region Europe Board of Directors
Q: Who is Paul Proctor?
A: Paul Proctor, Vice President Commercial – Europe, IHG Hotels & Resorts. I have been with IHG Hotels & Resorts for over 13 years with a background in Operations and Commercial working in Greater China and Europe.
Q: What does HSMAI mean to you?
A: It is integral to what we do. Connecting, building relationships and peer connections across the industry to drive the hospitality agenda, while promoting hospitality as the best place for future talent to work. There is so much talent at IHG Hotels & Resorts, and we want to use our collective knowledge and different perspectives to our advantage, pulling together to achieve our goals. It’s about inspiring and nurturing others, improving performance by developing diverse talent and creating an inclusive culture where everyone feels valued and able to thrive.
Q: What will you bring to the table as a member of the Board of Directors?
A: I’m looking forward to offering insights and expertise from my multi-decades worth of experience within the hospitality industry. I am particularly passionate about driving performance and team development using a people-centred approach. I can also offer both operational and commercial experience within a large and renowned industry titan, in IHG Hotels & Resorts.
Q: You have a demanding job. What made you accept to become a member of the HSMAI Region Europe Board of Directors?
A: Coming back into Europe from Greater China, it was important for me to connect with peers and industry colleagues. HSMAI was the perfect platform to be able to understand and share the wealth of experience myself and other board members have.
Q: What are your personal strengths?
A: I am proud that I’ve been actively involved in developing high performing leaders and teams. I enjoy mentoring and teaching both within IHG Hotels & Resorts and at several Universities in Asia. I have proven experience in building dynamic teams who deliver market leading results in an innovative way. As an avid reader I am always keen to learn from across multiple industries on how to unlock the full potential of our people and business.
Q: What does it take to become a successful leader in today’s hospitality sector?
A: I believe the most important traits are remaining humble and kind. Taking the time to understand and get to know the strengths of your teams will get the best outcomes. Additionally, understanding data and trends is essential in the modern working world, and future forecasting for the hospitality industry relies on this. It is crucial to be able to correct and adapt behaviours to suit fluctuating conditions for long term and short-term strategy success.
Q: HSMAI Region Europe will reactivate the Mike Leven Mentor Programme. Please share your thoughts on mentorship.
A: The area I am most passionate about is growing our teams and talent within our organisation through inspired coaching and dedicated mentoring. The constant growth of our teams relies on mentors having great self awareness and playing to their strengths.
Q: HSMAI Region Europe will launch a brand-new initiative in September – The Student Council. Please share your thoughts around this and how you will help out.
A: Now, more than ever, our industry is at a critical time of attracting and retaining talent and raising the profile of the hospitality sector. The Student Council will support students and graduates by connecting them directly with peers and hospitalities across Europe and understanding how they can get support in the early stages of their career.
Q: How do HSMAI members benefit from the HSMAI Region Europe?
A: The ability for members to connect with industry leaders from all parts of the hospitality sector and understand the latest trends, knowledge and know-how is both invaluable and essential.
Q: Could you tell us what a day at work looks like for you?
A: My day can start with connecting colleagues across the globe from Australia to China and closing with those in America and across Europe in-between. It’s that old cliché, no two days are the same; from owner and hotel engagement, to connecting with GMs on property and working with functional leadership to drive the commercial performance of our hotels across Europe, it is always varied, engaging and dynamic.
Q: What is the best part of your job?
A: Working with my team.
Q: Is there anyone you’ve been looking up to and why?
A: I always enjoy learning from others. Right now, I am reading The Comfort Book by Matt Haig and I’m known to always have my head in a book. I always enjoy sharing knowledge with my team and recommending a great read. The best advice I ever received was from an experienced General Manager, coach and friend, David Dalli, who stated that you should always ‘sleep on a problem’ i.e. things change with time and problems are best solved by not running head first in to trying to tackle them.
Q: Any final thoughts?
A: I am thrilled and excited to be part of the HSMAI Region Europe Board and cannot wait to connect with my peers, working together as we focus on further growth within the hospitality sector.
Photo: Paul Proctor