It’s a question I am being asked a lot just now, where did the confidence come from? These questions have made me reflect. It’s not that I didn’t think about what I was doing, I planned meticulously to allow me to be able to take this step, including selling my house! I guess that because it was small incremental steps, it didn’t seem as big from my perspective as it does to others.
There’s no doubt in my mind that one of the things that gave me the confidence was joining and taking part in the second Destination Leaders Programme (DLP) cohort in 2014/2015. Having moved into hospitality from a career in property I really felt I needed to build my knowledge of the sector and my network, and so having the opportunity to work with other leaders in our industry to improve Edinburgh as a destination was a chance I couldn’t miss.
Part of the course is to improve your self-knowledge, what sort of leader you are, for example. There are also fantastic learnings from other destinations and it was the innovations that we heard about that talked directly to my desire to lead on innovation. The self-reflection really made me think about the direction of my career and the little voice I had been trying to ignore became stronger until I couldn’t ignore it anymore. So, here I am, almost 2 years from graduation with my own technology business, which can directly impact on a guest’s experience and therefore the destination.
It’s often been said that women are hardwired differently to men and that lack of confidence – our lack of belief in our ability - is one of the big barriers to our success. I believe that dealing with a lack of confidence is actually a matter of courage and we know that women are courageous! I’ve learned to change my language. Don’t try; do.
I believe confidence is a skill you can learn, it needs work and it needs continual reinforcement to overcome the negative thoughts that most people have. One of my favourite quotes is: ‘the harder I work the luckier I get’ and for me this sums up confidence. Work on it and you will build it. Taking part in the Destination Leaders Programme helped me to build my confidence and my network and now it feels like the world is my oyster.
Julie Grieve is the Founder and CEO of Information Apps. The company’s software Criton helps hotels digitize their guest information.