April 6, 2022

Leadership is a Mindset, with Ali Cammelletti


Ali Cammelletti joins us today to discuss all things related to leadership and resilience in the workplace. Ali has more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including several years with Navis where she worked with resort and lodging companies around the world to drive revenue and increase sales agent performance.   

Ali now owns her own consulting company, Spark Your Mindset, and specializes in leadership coaching with business leaders in all industries. While vacation rentals are near and dear to her heart, Ali’s work and the principles of this episode are applicable for any business organization.

Topics we cover:

  • Hiring for skill or will: what’s more important?
  • How employee training/coaching impacts company morale 
  • Why perfectionism is rooted in hospitality, and how it leads to procrastination 
  • Re-thinking the org chart: building a linear vs top down leadership model 
  • What it means to be resilient, and how to develop this quality 

Ali will be presenting a team building program at the upcoming VRMA Spring Forum in Chicago April 11-12th. Her proven approach for building group cohesion and engagement aligns with the TIGERS 6 principles of Trust, Interdependence, Genuineness, Empathy, Risk, and Success. Years of research and application of these principles proves that their presence or omission affects team member engagement and effectiveness.

Watch on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/p3uV461CNO8

CONTACT ALI CAMMELLETTI
https://sparkyourmindset.com/
ali@sparkyourmindset.com

CONTACT ALEX & ANNIE
AlexandAnniePodcast.com
LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram

Alex Husner - Linkedin
Annie Holcombe - Linkedin

Podcast Sponsored by Condo-World and Lexicon Travel

Transcript
Alex Husner:

Welcome to Alex and Annie, the real women of vacation rentals. I'm Alex. And I'm Amy. And we're joined today by Miss Ali Cammelletti. Ali, welcome to the podcast.

Ali Cammelletti:

Thank you. And thank you both for your time today.

Alex Husner:

Yeah, we're so excited to have you. And to learn more about Allie and all that you've brought to the industry. I know you've been in a variety of different roles within hospitality and vacation rentals. And certainly more now on the leadership self improvement development side, which is something that Annie and I are very interested in. So we can't wait to dive into it. But can you give our listeners just a little bit of a history of who you are and your background?

Ali Cammelletti:

Yeah. So I have been in hospitality for 30 plus years. It started

Alex Husner:

doesn't seem possible. Looking at you right now, I don't see how that's possible. But you must have started when you were like five? Yeah, you

Annie Holcombe:

were born into it?

Ali Cammelletti:

Yeah, I was actually born into it. I grandparents, they had a travel agency. And I remember Stephen envelopes as a young kid. And one day my grandfather said, Ellie, I think you should be in hospitality. And I said, really? Why? And he goes, because they're always having fun. And I was like, alright, and literally, that's what I did. I have a degree in Hotel Restaurant Management. I started with country club management, because I'm a golfer at heart. And I wanted to be able to golf

Alex Husner:

is a great reason.

Annie Holcombe:

To go visit Alex. I've got lots of golf courses.

Ali Cammelletti:

Yeah. And it didn't take me long to see that. Maybe that wasn't the best avenue for me. And so I ended up going into restaurants. And I was managing restaurants in my early 20s, down in San Francisco, and amazing, great experiences that supported the foodie and me for sure. And then I ended up planning my first wedding and moved back up to bend where I kind of grew up, basically high school years in Bend, Oregon and started an event planning business. And during that time, I also taught for our local community college. And I taught Hotel Restaurant Management courses, customer service, event planning, all types of different business courses. And then I wanted to change I wanted to do something that was more corporate training. And that's when I went to work for Navis. Okay, and I worked for them for about three and a half years. And during that time, I was very involved in multiple pieces. I mean, they grew so fast, right? When I was there, and it first started, it was a little tiny building we all worked in and like there were three of us in one room.

Alex Husner:

Wow. Oh my gosh, you're really early days, though.

Ali Cammelletti:

Yeah, it was. And that was a great experience. And at the time, I decided to leave, I knew I needed a change. I really wanted to start a family and the travel and the stress just wasn't really conducive to what I was trying to do. Yeah. So I had a stint where I worked online teaching for a cordon bleu, their business part. And I just kind of fell into starting to score and coach for companies. I had good relationships from being a client advocate with Navis. And there was a need. And my friend Sue Jones was pushing. She was like, come on Allie. We need this, like just do it was like Oh, okay. And I kind of am a serial entrepreneur. I just really like working for myself. It seems to be the best fit.

Alex Husner:

Yeah, absolutely. So What years were you at? Navis. Just to give a timeline there.

Ali Cammelletti:

So 2009. Okay, to about 2000. It's always a little bit of a blur during this time. 13 I want to say it was Yeah. And yeah, so then I have been always really doing customer service training, like whether it be in college settings or going on site for companies, even when I was at NAB as I was still doing that piece. And then the leadership piece just really, really resonated for me. And I believe leadership is a mindset. I don't believe you need to have anybody reporting to you. It's how you lead in who you are with your values and how you naturally support others and their growth. So during COVID I ended up just really pushing through a couple more certifications and personal work and have implemented something called tigers, six principles that I use in my leadership platform. And it's trust, interdependence J You witness empathy, risk and success?

Alex Husner:

No. Did you think of that during Tiger king when that was out? That I have any very

Ali Cammelletti:

No. So Diane, Diane Crampton and actually started this 35 years ago, okay. And I have known her for a long time. And it was just a natural fit because I was already training on trust and empathy. So to bring in the full piece, and it is proven to have great results with

Alex Husner:

that all the words that you have that make that up are great. That's a great, great way to describe it.

Annie Holcombe:

Yeah, I love that you said that leadership is a mindset. I've been reading a lot about leadership lately and about how, you know, you can put somebody in a leadership role. But if they're not, they're not some people just aren't meant to lead. And I think what you know, like you said, putting it in that terms, that it is a mindset that it's not about necessarily a skill set, it's just really about how you're going to work with the people that are under you and lift them up, I guess would be the best way I would think of it, support them.

Ali Cammelletti:

And it's your values. Yeah, I mean, leaders, that's servant leadership, right? I love Simon Sinek and Brene. Brown, they're just two of my favorites, as well, I really resonate with, and it is all about supporting you and letting your own personal ego go. That's what real leadership is.

Alex Husner:

And I think, you know, at the end of the day, leadership is when you come into a company that gets it, it's not about I'm above you, because this is my title or that or anything like that. It's we're all on the same team, you know, wherever you're at in that journey. And, you know, I know for my company, even we just talked about Annie just got a new title role of vice president of business development. And I know, when I changed my title few years ago, from director of marketing to CMO, the reason I I asked the company to do that was for outside of the company, not for internally, I wasn't trying to say to the people here that you know, now I've I'm a different person, the way that you're supposed to look at me, it's just that reaching out to other people outside of condo world, I knew that was gonna help me. And it did. But it's it's interesting when you go into organizations that that org chart means everything right? And I think that's that can be a really dangerous kind of red flag. And I know with you as companies grow and get much bigger, it's necessary to a certain extent. But those boundaries don't need to be so rigid.

Ali Cammelletti:

There's so many pieces that you were talking about right now, like one of the things that I found in hospitality and why I love leadership so much is there's so much opportunity, because in hospitality often they promote the best performer. Yeah, and that best performer doesn't always get with that promotion of like, here is your leadership package. Right, here's how to lead people. Yeah. And they don't really always know how to handle it, because they've been such a high performer. But how do they become a high performer and leadership by supporting others. And that's where all of these other pieces have to be kind of broken down, and really dug into and that's micromanaging perfectionism control issues, right? Because they've just been rowing and doing their thing alone. And now it's so different.

Alex Husner:

Do you think his leadership more? And I think you could probably argue it either way, but his leadership more something that is learned? Or do people just have it?

Ali Cammelletti:

I think it's a mix. I will always go back to is it Skiller? Is it well? Yeah. And I had somebody asked me recently, they're like, what's your ideal client? I said, it's always will. Because I work in multiple industries, not just hospitality. It's just my base, my favorite. And I believe hospitality is in everything we do as humans. But it's got to be that will. Because you can do anything if you want to. Yeah. And I truly believe that. Some people are born with it. I think it's genetic and how they're raised. And what they're surrounded by. Yeah. And other people. It's, do you want to learn it? Or are you all about yourself? Yeah, yeah. And you just maybe just you're like, I just want to hide in my corner and be a producer. Great produce, produce away? You know, that's your hedgehog.

Annie Holcombe:

Yeah. How do you so it's interesting, you brought up a good point I have I was at a company several years ago, that I was a high performer and got promoted. And when I got the position, it was six months in and it was like, Well, you're not acting like this position. You need to be more this position. And I was like, Well, I don't know what this is. I don't know what that means. Like, you know you because you're everything was measured on numbers to that point, and I wasn't actually leading a team. I didn't have anybody working under me, but they were like, you have to be this role, but the role was again, it was about numbers. I don't know, I didn't know how that was how I was supposed to act. And I think that the larger an organization, the more forgetful they are of grooming people through the process to understand that each step of the way, another skill set has to be learned or formed or, you know, gathered. So I, I'm really fascinated to hear from your perspective, like, it sounds like you can coach people through that, yes, coach, the leadership aspect of it, or the learning of the leadership, like a, you know, go to a leader and say, This is how you lead or go to somebody that says, you want to be a leader, let me elevate you to that role.

Ali Cammelletti:

I've done multiple levels, like, let's take it just breaking it down from actual sales coaching. I remember working with a team and I went into a company and they're like, Ellie, we need a sales environment. And we want you to lead that. And so we had a plan of what that look like. And one of the gals I was coaching, she said, I'm just so honored, that they value me so much that they're investing in me and giving me a coach. Yeah, yeah. Because I just want to know how to do it. Yeah, tell me, coach me. I'm here. I want to I'm eager, and I have the will. And so those are beautiful scenarios. And then you know, there's also the scenarios where you go in, and they're like, No, I already know everything. I really don't need this.

Alex Husner:

Yeah. I think in most cases, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I would say in most cases, when you go in and you do coaching, whether it's sales training, when you're talking with agents at a resort at a vacation rental type company, most of them are excited for that, right. I mean, like, they're excited that the company wants to invest in them. And that's, that's what I've seen, at least here. At our company. We just recently did a sales training session with Doug Kennedy. And it was wonderful. And that's the first time we've done anything like that. And I mean, the response was great. They, I mean, our agents, literally, they were just just so enthused and paying attention the entire time. I mean, you did not see one Sleepy Eye in there. But I think they they just enjoy that opportunity to be, you know, they're already great at what they do. And I think it's how you position it, that it's you're not trying to say to people, you're doing a bad job. So here's a trainer to try and train you, you know, we know that you have great in you. And we just want to help you bring out more of that.

Ali Cammelletti:

So I go to a deeper level in all of my coaching, and we go to the base, we go to roadblocks that are happening, whether it be they are fast paced, and they push through in their communication. And this can be sales or leadership, or you stopping and spending time with those employees and saying, Hey, how was your day? And I've talked to those owners that they're like, oh, golly, I don't want to own time. And I'm like, Okay, then let's find somebody that does, because this is what your company and your team needs. Yeah, need to be cared about. And that's what makes the difference. The performance will happen. If you get down to the root of the actual underlining challenges. Yeah. And I will say one of the biggest things that I run into is perfectionism.

Alex Husner:

Really, among bosses, or among workers are both

Ali Cammelletti:

riddled in hospitality. Yeah, it's both. And so I believe we're in a people pleasing. Yeah, industry, right. That's what attracts us. We want to please, we want to do good. But perfectionism can be a really root of a lot of things that aren't healthy. Yeah, yeah. And when we're that way on ourselves, in turn, we're that way on others. And it can come out in a way that is not supportive. It can be then and so what I kind of touched on like micromanaging or controlling, and the importance of letting your people fail. Yeah. Which some people listening to this might be like, Oh, cringing, yeah, and that right there means there's work there to be done. Yeah, like it is okay to let somebody fail they learn that way.

Alex Husner:

Oh, definitely. Yeah,

Annie Holcombe:

I think Amber Amber hurdle, she says it best is that you fail forward. Because every every every failure is an opportunity to learn something new about your job yourself, your character, whatever. So that failing forward I that keeps that sticks in my mind. I'm sure that's a really good lesson that you can take to your your students, if you will, on that.

Ali Cammelletti:

Well, in it's a mindset, do you see failure as something that you're going to beat yourself up over? Or do you see it as what was the lesson?

Alex Husner:

Right, right, I think I mean, in the age of technology, and LinkedIn, and all the content that we're constantly seeing now, I think it's a good thing. I think it's made people at least more interested in becoming more self aware because there are so many articles and videos about things that it's like, oh, wow, I guess I do just that maybe I should think twice. But you know, I know for myself personally. I I've definitely tried to become more self aware in the last two, two years or so I'd say and, you know, it's a evolving journey. But it I look back on 10 years ago, I don't know that I thought about things the way that I that I do now. Right. And that only comes from experience. So that's that's a big part of it, too.

Ali Cammelletti:

You asked about leaders and how, you know, I communicate with them and stuff. And one of the things is I had a owner come to me said, Allie, I think that we have a trust issue in our company. And I said, Well, let's do the tiger survey, because that will tell you right away what the issue is. I mean, we can throw things at it all day. Yeah, let's figure out what it is. And it came back as risk in risk is, is your team willing to fail? And admit it? And, of course, there's a trust as a piece of that. Right. Yeah. They need to trust their environment, that they're going to be supported if they admit they fail. Mm hmm. And there were some things happening that employees were hiding, like, I don't know. Yeah. Identity van type thing. Yeah. Scared and fear. Yeah. And so really breaking it down of celebrating failures, and not seeing them as failures. But what we learn out of this, what can we change in our company? That would be helpful for everyone?

Alex Husner:

Mm hmm. Yeah. Right. Yeah. And that does that goes back to the perfectionism for sure, like you talked about? So it's funny how all these different things like if you had a map, and you had them all in circles, they really all overlap, you know, so directly, but so how does the Tigers formula work? Like, if you're going to work with a company? How do you implement it? What type of test did they take?

Ali Cammelletti:

I'm pretty flexible with it. So there's a game that I actually did at one of our conferences, and it brings out different personalities, okay, in this game, and it's a ton of fun, you learn a lot about your people, because how you interact and a company comes out and how you handle this game that we do. And so that's one piece that I'll do for team building. And then another piece is a survey. And then when I do leadership coaching, what we do is we have inventory assessments on every principle. And so that being the trust in dependence, etc, right. And that assesses like, what's happening in your company. And that's where I can see perfectionism quickly. And with one of the questions of asking, do you feel your co workers are competent? Do you feel your leaders are competent? Like a both of those are knows I'm like, yeah. Yeah, right there. Yeah. So they do that. And then they do a worksheet, and then I do small videos in between, and we break it all down, and really dig in to make it be a healthy culture. Yeah. And what I love about it is that I find things that before might have taken me a little bit longer to find. And that inventory assessments just really quick. It like brings it out. Yeah,

Alex Husner:

yeah. Because otherwise, you could spend a week with a company you might take longer than that. I mean, it's, it's tough to, and you're a professional at this, but I would imagine, it's gonna be tough to get to the root of problems. I mean, having those different systems definitely gets you going a lot faster there. But I think in most cases, it comes down to, you know, just communication, right? Like, the communication not being what it needs to be. And really what that comes down to is time. So that's a challenge for all of us that, you know, I wish that I had more time to communicate to my team. And I know, all of our executive team probably feels the same way too. But we're all going in so many different directions, that it's not a matter of not communicating because we don't care. But it's it's literally lack of time. So carving out that time and figuring out how you can keep people in the know so that they don't feel alienated. And I think when people think that their co workers or their bosses are not competent, that comes from lack of communication.

Ali Cammelletti:

Yes, yes. I believe it's all communication. Mm

Alex Husner:

hmm. Yeah.

Annie Holcombe:

Do you find that people are more open to this type of training or this type of conversation now because of COVID. And the way that I think so many industries had to just up and how they were operating in terms of like, where staff was and people being at home and that probably opened up a lot of wounds with companies in terms of trust. Just going back to that so do you are you finding people are more open to doing these exercises and going through it now?

Ali Cammelletti:

I do believe so. And I also feel like this is the time because you can either choose to fire your people And then you're lucky if you can get people, right. Or you can do the work and build a good culture and develop your people. And I believe taking that time will save you money in the long end, you know, and really create that culture you're striving for. But it's a belief system to, you need to believe that these pieces are important. And when you were talking about money driven companies, that can be really hard sometimes if that's coming from the top. Yeah. And we also kind of talked about organizational structures, and I kind of call it the mountain or level, right? And obviously, I'm doing this with my hands. But I've been in organizations where it's a top down. Yeah, yeah. And I strive to build organizations that are linear. Right? Yeah. everybody's on the same team. Yeah,

Alex Husner:

exactly. Yeah.

Annie Holcombe:

Yeah. To me, I think too many people, and it's maybe a product of maybe the 80s, you know, everybody coming out of the 80s with that mindset of, I'm gonna make a million dollars, and I'm gonna be a CEO. And, and that mindset kind of just kept developing. And so people were coming out of college, with that mindset of how do I get to that level and skipping over that? Learning, that skill set building, I needed to be that actual CEO to be effective in a company, because it just was, at the end of the day, in everybody's mind, it was about the dollar, not about the experience in the relationships, which I feel like the one thing I have learned over my career is that relationships are better. And more important than anything, any title that you could possibly have is about being your authentic self. And, you know, so I have that I really was curious as to what you would say about COVID? Because I feel like that just opened up a Pandora's box of conversations that people needed to be having a long time ago and weren't,

Ali Cammelletti:

yes. Back here being like, can we talk about empathy? Can we trust like, please, and then COVID happen, I'm like, people,

Alex Husner:

especially went from being in person to now being remote. And that's, that's definitely still a challenge. I mean, to, you know, to make that transition to trust that your people are doing everything that they're supposed to be doing, when they're not in front of you, you know, at the end of the day, they could be in front of you, and they're still not doing everything that you think that they're doing. Right. So it is it's a mind, it's a mind shift there. But that's that's a challenge for sure.

Ali Cammelletti:

Well, and it's healthy accountability,

Alex Husner:

right? Yeah.

Ali Cammelletti:

Not micromanaging. It's how can I support you, I want to check in are there things that you're running into that you have questions about you feel challenged with? Like, let me know. And that's how to be healthy with the accountability. Instead of being like, give me a spreadsheet of everything you're doing every minute? Yeah.

Annie Holcombe:

Well, I think you get, you know, I've been in some sales organizations, organizations, previously, where you spent so much time justifying every minute of your day, that you just felt like there was no point in doing anything, because you had to justify every step of it. And my husband actually works for a government contractor and government contractors are really, they're hard because you have to dive your day, you know, he does seven or eight different projects, but he has to adjust, you know, a lot the time for each project at the end of the week for his you know, for his payroll, and it's just very, it can be very tedious. And it goes back to like, well, don't you trust me to do the job that you hired me to do? So that's that top down mentality that has to has to change? I'm sure. Do you find that there's anything when you do this coaching any one aspect of say, like the tiger part that? Is it always going to be the trust that jumps out as the biggest issue? Or is there one that typically jumps out as your biggest issue, but maybe the easiest one to solve?

Ali Cammelletti:

You know, I think trust is the biggest I do. When I look at it, you know, every organization is different. Because if there's trust, the other ones are falling in line, usually Sure. But empathy is understanding how to be empathetic, you know, there's a lot of content out there. And I think people still confuse it on what it really looks like, and understanding it and how to really practice healthy empathy, where it's going in with that listening ear and understanding of like, I can't understand what you're going through, but I'm here for you, and whatever I can do to support you. And you know, you talk about when we grew up in the 80s and business and it was like, oh, no, you walk in that door and you leave it at door. Right, you know, and that's just not realistic. I don't believe it was ever realistic. Yeah. And so if we can go to the back to that place of having real relationships, and seeing you know, when somebody is just not acting themselves and bringing them in and being like, Hey, how are you doing today? Mm hmm. Just asking really good open ended questions and letting them lead you there. And if they divulge to you, like, I'm having a tough time, this is what I'm going through at home, I'm struggling. But it's going in with that benefit of the doubt instead of like so and so is not performing. Right? Like that's not a culture that is going to build really, really strong employees that are going to work hard and enjoy what they do, and it spreads when they're in that environment.

Annie Holcombe:

Yeah, it's like a cancer.

Alex Husner:

Yeah. Yeah, it really does. Now, Alley, when we were at the Women's Conference, we got to see your presentation about resiliency. And what that means. And I think you took it to a different level, a much more deep level, then I have thought about that word. And I'll let you go into that. But tell us how you look at resilience and kind of what that whole background of what that word means as far as you're concerned.

Ali Cammelletti:

Resilience is what I believe has enabled me to be the person I am today. And I feel it's a constant lesson and creating that resiliency for me, but it's something that I believe in so hard, wholeheartedly, I'd say, and something that I am instilling my daughter with, and we can do surface of, you know, that it is creating really good healthy environments where people feel connected. Right. And so I try to create that for her being an older mother. I don't have a lot of friends that have kids my age, like some of them have grandkids, my daughter's eight. Wow, yeah. That's crazy. And so finding those environments for her where she feels that sense of belonging. Yeah, yeah. And then it's all about experiences. And I hi might have created a little bit of a monster with this. Because January 1, she's like, where are we going for my birthday experience this year, mom. And she's been hearing me talk about going to Chicago for Burma. And she's like, Chicago, I'm like,

Alex Husner:

leaving a session

Ali Cammelletti:

five, like, we're probably gonna go maybe a state up. But so it's really creating those experiences, because that's where people are able to grow when they have those different experiences. And in companies that can even look like cross training. Yeah, yeah. It's cross training brings so much brings respect for other industries or other departments, and compassion and empathy, to understand, like, when a department is struggling, why they might be struggling, right? Yeah, yeah. And that's something I learned early on of the importance as a manager, I had to work in every department, even with the janitorial.

Alex Husner:

I guess, like the way that I've always seen resiliency is is just that it means that you can handle anything that's thrown at you. And maybe that's part of it. But I think what I liked about your presentation was there, there's actually much more to that, that I mean, the ways that you develop resiliency, there are things on here that I hadn't even thought about, but that, you know, meditation actually is part of developing resiliency and being out in the wilderness and, you know, exploring things that you love new new things to do that challenge you. It's it's not just about resiliency isn't having bad things happen to you and you're bouncing back. It's about how you prepare yourself to be resilient in situations so that you can show up as your best self.

Ali Cammelletti:

Absolutely. And I will say that it has been a big focus for me for last couple years, and myself is yielding that resiliency, because in my 30s, that wasn't the case. And we all have those times in our lives where maybe we don't feel like we're at our best. And I will say I numbed through a ton of trauma that I experienced, because it was too much to handle at once. Can you tell us a little bit about what happened to Yeah, so in my 30s, basically, I had about a two year time period where half of my family all passed. And so it started off with I had my event planning business at the time, had just opened that maybe a year in and they found a crazy tumor in my liver. It was actually encompassed part of my liver and had to remove 65% of my liver with the tumor. And it was a major surgery and because I was self employed, I didn't tell anyone because I needed the business. Yeah. So I kept it quiet, which was really hard. So my support systems weren't as much as they used to be or they have been now You know, I'm more open about what's happening with me now. And at the same time, my husband at the time had an affair. And then at the same time, my grandfather passed, and my grandmother had been taken care of by him for about 10 years. She didn't really leave the house and I was an only child. My father was an only child and my father wasn't really an option. He struggled with addiction his entire life, and ended up passing. So grandfather passed, then grandmother passed in six months, and I'm running a business recovering from major surgery, driving eight hours to try to take care of her. Like, I never forget, I literally kidnapped her and her Cadillac. And she was hitting me with her cane. When she realized she was like, we're not going to the store. I'm like, oh, no, we're gonna Yeah, we are. Ready, grandma. It's gonna be a bit of a drive. Yeah, I had an elbow on the because old time caddy, right? The the locks cuz she's trying to jump out of the car. Oh, my God, I have one arm up and I'm driving. Oh, my because she's hit me with her cane, which I still have that cane. Like, it's my favorite thing. Out of the attic with it, like it's a third arm for me. But, um, so I brought her up to Oregon. And eventually I had to find a place for her because it was like getting rough pain mill pain medication and business. And I'm going through a divorce and recovering. It was just a lot. And she asked me, she said, I when I die, I'm going to die quick. And I'm going to be in my home. And that was on Thanksgiving. And I said, all right. And I made everything happen. I took her home, and she passed within three weeks. Wow. And things that you know, I live a mission of you never have any regrets in life. Yeah. I say yes. I listen. And I pay attention. Maybe not in that order. But that's how I do it. And so then she pasts. My father starts suing me. Because I'm in charge. I'm in charge of everything, because he wasn't really in a healthy place. Yeah. And never really handled much. Well, and he did not share with me and I got a call. And he passed on Father's Day, which was just so my father gosh, oh my father, because you'd be like, Oh, where was my Father's Day card? I'm like, in prison. Yeah. Dress Like seriously? Your father like to send you a card?

Annie Holcombe:

Yeah, we chose Father's Day.

Ali Cammelletti:

Yeah, Mother's Day, which funny enough that your father's day fell on the wedding anniversary of my mother in him.

Alex Husner:

Wow. Wow. Goodness. And they were divorced

Ali Cammelletti:

since I was one when he went into prison the first time. But um, yeah. So I couldn't handle it all in my world. Yes. Kind of like, okay, Ali, you're still running this event planning business. Like I had to hire somebody to help me at that point to kind of get through it all. But I numbs. Yeah, definitely numbed. I drank. I just, I didn't know how to handle it all. And then I believe life happens to us so that we can learn. Again, right. I kind of this learner piece for me. Yeah. And I didn't learn during that time, because I numbed because that's all I could do at that age. I mean, imagine a lot to go in your early 30s.

Alex Husner:

Yeah, a time.

Annie Holcombe:

I couldn't go through that now. Yeah.

Ali Cammelletti:

That's and so then the adoption, you know, surprise, surprise, fertility issues and going through adoption. It was long process. And that's when I really learned my tools. Yeah. Because I, I tried to numb through it a little bit. And it wasn't working. Yeah, I was struggling with anxiety, depression, and trying to run my own business. It's when I started this business is when I was going through that, and a lot of therapy. I believe in therapy. Yeah, absolutely. I do not think it's something bad or we should be ashamed of it. shows that we're willing to grow.

Alex Husner:

Mm hmm. and vulnerability, right. And that's, that's the big principle of Brene. Brown. Like you mentioned earlier, it's, that's how growth comes.

Ali Cammelletti:

Yeah, so I did a lot of EMDR therapy, which was that I call them the crying buzzers. So EMDR is an acronym and it's eye movement. And they've had it's evolved over the years but literally what happens is we hold the buzzers and you have to have a certain type of therapist that knows how to do this. Yeah. And with holding the buzzers, you're talking about like resetting a belief system. So often we'll go down this highway of believing things a certain way. Right. And everybody has their own stuff. Mine was I'm not good enough, like dating back to childhood. Lots of support there for that one. And so taking the exit To think a different way. You know, I could say all of this stuff happened to me be very victimized by it. But I'm like, oh, no, like I needed to go through that to grow. To get back to the human that I believe I meant to be. Right. It took that for me. Yeah. And so through my wait for my daughter and then becoming a mother like the call on a Tuesday afternoon. Your baby was born yesterday, the birth mom has chosen you. And bang. I'm in the NICU with her for two weeks, doing coaching sessions at five in the morning with the East Coast client, going to the NICU and doing kangaroo time to create bonding. Wow. And I was just Yeah. And then this last year was a bit of I'll just say a buttkicker. Yeah, for me. But the difference was is I had tools. And my tools are exercise. It is just essential for me and who I am. And right now we're getting a ton of snow. So literally, like they closed the college today, because we're getting so much snow today. So for me that looks like cross country skiing. Yeah. Yeah. That's awesome. I just love it. And it you know, it helps us with our hormones. Yeah. And I just always have a great day when I'm able to exercise and when I'm not, you know, and it's not snowing, then it's more like just a quick job. Like writing something. Yeah, I do. Yeah. And just something to get that energy, that elevation for me. And I call it run in the crazies off?

Alex Husner:

Yeah, yeah. No, I mean, it, it does, it makes a massive difference. And it's funny, because sometimes, when you're not feeling up to working out normally, that's always the best thing that you should do. Right? And you never regret a workout. Once you've done it, you feel right. It's much better. But it's like, you know, we've all put them off strong. Oh, I just don't want to do it. But then it's really what you needed to have done to make everything else better. But yeah, it's unbelievable to hear your story about all the things that happened to you. I mean, if anybody deserves the title of resilient, it's certainly you. And that's a lot to go through. But I think, you know, going forward, it's kind of like, you know, bring it on, right? I mean, what can possibly hurt you at this point, because that's, that's so much to have gone through. And I think when you do go through those things, if you can have that look back to understand what how it made you change, that becomes like your arsenal and your library of like personal defeats that you've gotten over that now you do feel stronger, moving into other things when they happen. So it's amazing and awful that all those things happen, but amazing to see that you were strong enough to move forward despite them.

Ali Cammelletti:

Well, it was putting the tools into play. Mm hmm. Yeah. And that's what happened this year with multiple complicated grief and going through another divorce. It's all putting those tools into play. Yeah. Where I'm able to have hard days everybody does. We're human, but sail through it in a way. That doesn't take me down. Right. Yeah. And that's the key with resilience, I believe. And I will say, this is the first time that I am really in a place of feeling joy. Having self love, like not feeling like I need somebody a tie. Not like, I need a job. I need a partner. Any of that to make me happy. Like I'm happy right now in my skin for the first time.

Annie Holcombe:

Yeah, that's awesome. That's awesome. You got to that place. I think we all want to be where you can look at yourself and say I am enough. Yeah, yeah. Yep, I am enough. And I hate that you had to go through all the things that you went through to get to be enough for yourself. Yeah. But I think that makes you such a wonderful asset to any industry that you work with, is that you do have, as Alex was saying, an arsenal of just things to reach back into experiences to reference and you're not coming to somebody with a textbook way to handle things you have life experience. And there was a gentleman that we interviewed Simon Lehman and he was talking about the fact that consultants aren't it's not about consulting, it's about the experiences that you bring to people to share those experiences, learn and teach from so it's not it's not so much a consultancy is that really is you know, an education of everyone's experience experiences to

Alex Husner:

share sharing, sharing experiences. Yeah.

Annie Holcombe:

So well, gosh, I think we could talk to you for hours because this is just so fascinating. And my heart is just like, heavy for you, but just so impressed by everything that you've gone through. And wow. I just had no idea so and very sad that I didn't get to see your session. Um, but we are About it time, and I think we talked about a couple of questions that we just wanted to ask you as wrap ups. And the one that I had down was, what is the work that you do say about your life in your journey, I think this would be a perfect wrap up for we just talked about.

Ali Cammelletti:

I believe in careers, you know, we learn, and then we elevate and are different positions, but then at the end, we share. And it's like what Simon said, and that's where I'm at, is I've done all of those steps. And now I'm at this place where I can share, and I can talk to an owner, and we can talk about maybe a challenging employee, and I can say, I'm wondering if there's some trauma going on. And that's what's creating this lack of performance. Let's talk about how to communicate with this person to help them and grow them and not discount them and fire them.

Alex Husner:

Right. Yeah. Yeah, I think that's one of the you know, biggest lessons any of us can learn is that you don't know what somebody else is going through, right. And so learning to be that empathetic person that you have, you have to have that I mean, to be able to truly, you know, work with people and get the best out of them, you have to be empathetic, and not think of what's going on in your mind of all the things you have to do and all the negative things going on. But you have no idea what that person is dealing with. And in a lot of cases, they're not going to say what it is. And that's that's okay. But, you know, just being patient with them is important.

Ali Cammelletti:

Pulling it's hard when some leaders haven't experienced real hardship, because there are people out there. Yeah, I don't know too many of them. But there are people out there and so they don't know really where to pull from.

Alex Husner:

Mm hmm. Sure. Yeah.

Annie Holcombe:

Gosh, that's so heavy. Yeah, no,

Alex Husner:

it's amazing. Amazing. What would be your best advice for somebody heading into the new year? What would you suggest? As somebody who wants to become more self aware, be an empathetic leader? And what what would be your advice for the new year?

Ali Cammelletti:

Yeah, lean into personal growth, like lean in? Yeah. Be dedicated to it have that will? And I talked with somebody recently. And she said, Well, you know, in five years, I'm going to retire. I'm like, What do you want these last five years to look like? Right? Yeah. Because you've had a lot of turnover. You're frustrated, I can hear the burnout? Yeah, you have the opportunity to dig in and create some great personal tools, and have that last five years be great. So that I don't want to be harsh, but you're not in a facility afterwards. Right? stress, stress, the body keeps score. It's not a joke.

Alex Husner:

Yeah. And it's not just about I think that's where people get confused that it's not just about business, why you do this kind of work, it's about you as a human being at home at work. I mean, I write down my goals every day, and every week, and one of them is to show up as my best self, at home and at work, you know, with my friends and the different people that I that I'm with not just just for my business friends, I want to be good for my dogs, everybody. But, you know, self awareness and personal growth is something that affects every part of your life. And I think when you invest in it and yourself, you do see, you see the effects of it. And journaling is a big thing, right? I mean, just in general writing things down so that you can see how far you've come. That's a big part of it, too.

Ali Cammelletti:

Right exercises to write your eulogy. Oh,

Annie Holcombe:

wow.

Ali Cammelletti:

I know. Sorry. Any we're going

Annie Holcombe:

through this. Yeah, yeah. I

Alex Husner:

mean, what what what do you suggest for like, what people would say about you? Is that kind of the

Ali Cammelletti:

little want to be remembered? Yeah. In Your Life? Yeah.

Annie Holcombe:

I think that's kind of you know, that kind of goes to warn when people ask you to write a disc like a description about yourself or your your professional self mostly, is when you get asked that but sometimes you don't know how to put those into what you know, you know, you do but you don't know in words, whereas like, if I were to go talk about Alex, I could talk about her and glowing, you know, references all day long. But what what is she going to say about herself? Maybe not the same thing. And that's, that's a really that's a that's a really deep? I'm gonna have to think about that. Yeah, yeah.

Ali Cammelletti:

You know, I mean, I know what I want my eulogy to say, I haven't done that exercise. But I have friends that have and I know exactly what I want them to send. Somebody asked me like, why did you want to have children that was like, I can experience so much in business, but I wanted this experience. Yeah. This one is like no other.

Alex Husner:

For sure. Your daughter is how old though? Four and a half. Wow. Yeah, sure. What's her what's her name? Chela Chela. Well, she has an amazing mom and whatever journey you've had with her and on your own, too, but you're truly an inspiration. Definitely to Annie and I. But yeah, it was wonderful chatting with you. And thank you for the presentations that you bring to our industry. Also for your podcast. If anybody wants to listen, Allie has her own podcast, which is incredible to listen to. How do they find it? Is it I know it's Spark? But is that what they type in to find it?

Ali Cammelletti:

So my business is spark your mindset. And you can always find it on my website, but the actual podcast is called snack leadership. And it's 15 minutes bite sized pieces of leadership content. So I always have a theme this month is inclusion. And I interview in one of them. And then in a second one, I do resources on the topic, and really focus on that for the month. Very

Alex Husner:

cool, wonderful. We will include show notes are in the show notes how to contact you and links to everything but thank you again for being here. We hope we'll see you vermin Chicago, you said that we It looks

Ali Cammelletti:

like it yeah. It's hard to like is anything definite in our world anymore. Um, yeah,

Alex Husner:

as definite as it is today. Will be great to catch up in person. And I'm sure everybody else will be excited to get to hear more from you there too. And your presentation. So thank you so much, Ali.

Ali Cammelletti:

Thank you, both of you and Alex.

Alex Husner:

Thanks for listening everybody. You can find us at Alex and Annie podcast.com And please go ahead subscribe so that you don't miss an episode and we will see you next time.

Annie Holcombe:

Thanks

Ali Cammellettii Profile Photo

Ali Cammellettii

CEO/Owner/Coach

Ali Cammelletti brings over 30 years of experience in the Hospitality Industry. Serving in many capacities within the industry, from a front-line restaurant and lodging employee to building and owning a successful event planning business for nine years and now running a consulting company.
Having earned a B.A. in Hotel/Restaurant Management from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ali brings another element of experience from continuing her education by instructing previously at Central Oregon Community College in the Hospitality program as an instructor for such classes as Customer Service, Event Planning, Retail Management and Lodging Management. She also taught Information Technology Systems, Hospitality Technology Systems and Hotel and Lodging Operations for Le Cordon Bleu.
Ali has been independently consulting with businesses on customer service including phone skills, front line customer service, sales and leadership techniques for over 20 years. Most recently she was a business consultant for a software company that assisted resorts and lodging establishments on how to drive revenue.
In 2013 Ali launched Cammelletti Consulting, LLC., focusing on the lodging industry specifically. She is currently a member with the Vacation Rental Management Association and presents at their conferences throughout the year as well as facilitates a business owners’ group in her hometown. Ali specializes in working with front line service staff on their customer service and sales skills as well as leadership coaching with company leaders.
In her spare time, Ali enjoys being with her daughter, Chela, running, cross country skiing, hiking, golfing and camping. She is a Central Oregon native that moved back after pursuing her hospitality career in San Francisco, California.