'Learning how to motivate and inspire people is a key element that I learned and still use today'

'Learning how to motivate and inspire people is a key element that I learned and still use today'

IHG’s graduate scheme aims to guide talented young leaders from supervisors to future business leaders. It’s known as the ‘IHG Future Leaders programme’.

We recently spoke with Zak Muysken, a Future Leader graduate, about his experiences. 


Zak Muysken

Zak Muysken - Rooms Division Manager, InterContinental Wellington


Hi Zak, what’s a typical day like for you?

What I love about the hospitality industry is no two days are the same, every day brings a new challenge and opportunity.

What’s your favourite thing about the job that you do?

Working with colleagues who are passionate about hospitality and delivering a memorable guest experience. Also having the opportunity to grow and develop the next generation leaders who are starting their hospitality career.

You were 1 of only 3 finalists from the whole of New Zealand at the Outstanding Young Executive Awards 2015 – how do you feel about that?

To be nominated by your hotel is an incredibly humbling experience, I was honoured to have the recognition from my peers and the industry.

What do you think were the key skills and attributes that helped you win?

I believe there are two parts to this answer. The first being a genuine and passionate leader is a key to success and the second having a balanced scorecard of achievements.

How did it feel to win the award?

It was incredibly humbling to be nominated amongst such great company. To be recognised by my peers and then to be recognised by the industry was an amazing feeling.  It still has not quite sunk in yet that I was fortunate enough to win and it makes me very thankful for the support I have had over the years.

Do you think that the Future Leaders Programme helped you on the road to success?

The programme was an invaluable experience for me. My General Manager was instrumental in developing me into a balanced successful leader, learning how to motivate and inspire people is a key element that I learned and still use today. 

What advice would you give someone just starting out on the future leaders program in order to be successful?

Immerse yourself in everything the program has to offer, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and you want to make the most of it! Be true to yourself and find/ develop your own leadership style by adopting traits of successful leaders you work with.

It’s a fantastic platform to build and develop your own leadership style whilst being able to tap into the knowledge from experienced leaders.


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