Tony Carson

Tony Carson

Managing Partner at Principe

One piece of advice I was given early in my management career, that was the hardest to hear but also the most helpful as I grew as a manager was: “If you want to be the guy at the top, make sure you are ready for what is up there”. This has helped me slow down, take my time in my journey towards leadership, help me learn to be the best I can be, and let opportunities find me, rather than chasing them.

Maybe one of the most valuable lessons I have learned throughout my career is to take care of yourself. The industry isn’t going anywhere and there will always be a to-do list, so things can always get done tomorrow. If you can learn to take care of yourself, you can be a far more impactful leader to others.
All of the jobs I have had in my career have had an impact on me in some way. The most impactful was my first job, this was the job where I began to understand the concept of hospitality and see its effects, every day.
I knew this was the profession for me right at the beginning of my career. I could see an industry in front of me that excited me and one that I knew would take me years to develop into the person I aspired to be. This journey was an exciting prospect for me.
I believe you need to demonstrate discipline when it comes to work/life balance. Everyone has a different version of work/life balance, so be honest with yourself about what yours looks and feels like and use personal discipline to work to maintain it as best you can.
I look for people who have a willingness to listen, to ask thoughtful questions, to work on themselves to be the best professional they can be and to do what others may not to achieve the guest rave or the goal of a project. If you have a team of people who are willing to do all of those things, that can be very powerful.
The most important skill to have is people skills. The rest generally can be taught depending on which sector of the industry you chose.
By finding new inspiration for myself and I hope that I can continue to share and inspire my teams. It’s important to continually share the direction, goals and values with the team, so that we have an aligned way of moving forward and can use all three to keep us centered.
The opportunities to create a sense of purpose for myself and hopefully others at the same time is what inspires me to continue to work and excel in this industry.
I find inspiration everywhere. Books, Youtube. Running is a great source of inspiration for me as it helps me to clear my head and gives me the perspective to think aspirationally or big picture.
I try and listen more than I speak. I also try to intentionally surround myself with people that I know I can learn from consciously or subconsciously, whether it be professionally or recreationally.
I can’t live without Sleep/Gin/Running - Not necessarily in that order.
The trend in hospitality that I am most excited for is what is happening tableside. There is a lot of creativity and excitement around tableside delivery that we see outside of fine dining restaurants, that are being used to enhance a guests experience without having to part ways with hundreds of dollars. We are excited to be working on some ideas of our own that we plan to showcase early in 2019.
The most essential books for me are “Setting the Table" by Danny Meyer, “Kitchen Confidential” by Anthony Bourdain, “The obstacle in the way” by Ryan Holiday, and “Leaders eat last” by Simon Sinek.

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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