Kim Lerner

Kim Lerner

Leadership Coach & Hospitality Consultant at only yummy, always

I want to help the people of our beloved industry. We get to orchestrate magical memories for others all day, every day, and all too often, we forget to create that same magic for ourselves. I am passionate about individuals & teams and setting up the foundation for safe, energized, and sustainable work environments for them to thrive and grow which results in the business to thrive and grow alongside them.

I define hospitality as showing up for yourself first so you can then show up for others. I believe that how you choose to start your day creates the momentum and energy for what’s ahead. My morning routine is my sacred time when I usually go for a run to let my mind run, then have my coffee and avocado toast and journal my gratitude notes. I carve out moments throughout the day to nourish myself, whether it’s through food and water or stepping out for some air, a walk to the farmer’s market or calling a friend. I also set reminders in my phone to self care and it helps me hold myself accountable during my long days.
I’ve known since I was a kid that I wanted to be a leader in the hospitality industry and a teacher. I just never could see how they both tied in together until I got really clear on what I was being called to do.
A piece of advice that has stuck with me over time is to never let anyone dim your light.
I read people’s energy. If they are excited and share the same values as the business, it doesn’t matter how much experience they have, I will likely offer them to join the team if they feel aligned with us. You can teach anyone your steps of service, you cannot teach someone to be aligned with your values.
It’s crucial to be able to tap in and access your sense of calm. There are so many moving parts to a restaurant and if I can remain clear and calm throughout the day, I am able to dance around in service with control and guide the leaders and teams that I am working with to do the same. Communication, both verbal and non verbal, is also a must, as well as finding efficiencies in all aspects of the business starting with a to-do list.
I aspire to create safe and secure environments for the teams I work with through open dialogue from the day I first meet with them. I want to learn from them what they are excited about (both in the business and in their individual worlds) and what they are absolutely terrified of. I coach them on how to show up for themselves first and then for each other. I encourage them to ask questions, a lot of them. Curiosity leads to educating yourself.
I find inspiration anywhere, everywhere and through conversations with myself and others. I’m very curious and I ask a lot of questions so I can better understand people and what gets them excited which in turn gets my creative juices flowing.
I read a lot of books on running, leadership, sustainability, and culture. I love learning about others’ experiences and expertise and then see how I can adapt them to myself.
I could not do my job without my heart. I love what I do and if my heart wasn’t as open as it is to make an impact and care so much to support others, I would not be able to do what I do. Oh, and my 32oz Nalgene water bottle.
Books that I think are essential reads: ‘Dare to Lead’ by Brene Brown, ‘Start with Why’ by Simon Sinek, ‘Responsible Business’ by Carol Sanford, ‘You and I Eat The Same’ by Chris Ying.

Disclaimer: Individuals featured in the Inspirational Career Timelines section have been nominated by peers, colleagues and/or other members of the hospitality industry. It is to the best of our knowledge that each individual has demonstrated leadership and acted as a positive role model for others.

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