Steve Farzam is not only a leader in the hospitality business for over 10 years, but also in emergency medicine, law, and disaster relief. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Shore Hotel in Santa Monica but has been in the hospitality industry from a young age since his family owned and operated a motel in Seattle. Upon graduating from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, Steve continued his education further by getting his paramedic certification at Southwestern College. This led him to a career as a helicopter flight paramedic. Even though working as a helicopter flight paramedic was rewarding, Steve still felt a pull to return to his roots of hospitality management.
As the COO, Steve was in charge of managing the entire creation of the hotel. He oversaw the LEED Gold Design, construction, grand opening, and now all day-to-day operations. Under his direction, Steve has made a commitment to ensure that the entirety of Shore Hotel reduces its carbon footprint. His goal is to make the environmental impact of the hotel as small as possible while growing the positive impact this has on tourists, locals, and staff. Thanks to Steve Farzam’s various green initiatives, Shore hotel has won various awards for environmental responsibility and green stewardship. The hotel regularly appears ad #1 on Trip Advisors best hotels in Santa Monica, and it was recently rated at #4 of the 50 luxury hotels by the esteemed Conde Nast Traveler magazine.
Steve Farzam and his team are dedicated to providing each guest at Shore Hotel with exceptional service. He will stay at the hotel from time to time to ensure that all daily operations are up to the high standard he has set. Additionally, Steve likes to fill in for different management positions so he can get a first-hand experience of every part of the organization.
In his free time Steve enjoys all that life has to offer including spending time with family and traveling. He finds that it’s most insightful to experience being a guest at other hotels to find new ways to improve operations at Shore Hotel. You can connect with Steve Farzam on Twitter, TravelMassive, and LinkedIn.
Our Interview With Steve Farzam
What’s the most important thing we should know about you?
Steve Farzam: I am a man with several life experiences. Some of these experiences include professional accomplishments and personal failures. Of those failures and accomplishments, I always try my best to look at past decisions and attempt to learn from them. All of these are intertwined with doses of humility and mindfulness.
Name the most impactful lesson you learned from failure.
Steve Farzam: Thought + Action = Effect. I have learned over the years that my decisions affect others. Either by means of impacting the community, my family, or coworkers. Many of my failures provided an opportunity to view them as a learning lesson which I strive to grow from.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Steve Farzam: I am proud of my accomplishment of earning my national paramedic certification which has been fruitful in many arenas in my life which most importantly has allowed me to serve others in need. More recently, I am proud to have designed a sustainable hospitality organization which is LEED Gold certified through the USGBC that is well respected amongst our peers. One which we have mutual respect for each other and provide a platform for progress.
What did you waste the most time on when you were first starting your career?
Steve Farzam: I wasted a significant amount of my time looking for perfection. I learned through my experiences that such expectations don’t exist. I now look for opportunities that allow me to focus on the process and not the outcome.
Name a tool you use for work that you can’t live without.
Steve Farzam: I have always been a task-oriented person. Even during college, I would use a task list that was written and carried in my bookbag. Now, I use Microsoft outlook to track my tasks and set deadlines which have proved to be successful.
What is your favorite hobby and why?
Steve Farzam: I love to weld. Welding has proved to be an art which involves joining two pieces of metal together. It provides me an opportunity to focus on the task and enjoy the end result of my project.
What excited you the most about your industry right now?
Steve Farzam: Being a leader in hospitality, provides a perfect marriage for my desire to serve others; both guests and team members, who I am proud to work alongside. It also gives me an opportunity to be evaluated with areas to focus on growth.
What concerns you most about your industry right now?
Steve Farzam: Luckily, we have no major concerns. However, we always strive to be at the forefront of technology and provide outstanding service to guests. Any lack of the two provides an opportunity for our competitors to take the lead.
What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?
Steve Farzam: Skydiving was a risk that I took in my 20’s and will never repeat in my 40’s. Although it was fun, it was a lifestyle that is not conducive with who I am today. I don’t chase thrills anymore, rather a long-term desire to be gratified.
Name one small habit that positively impacts your productivity.
Steve Farzam: Mindfulness meditation. This daily practice provides me an opportunity to focus on nothing but the present moment. Helps put things in perspective and not overthink.
What tips do you have for getting a seat at the table?
Steve Farzam: Listen more than talk. Everyone wants to be heard, however, we rarely listen to ourselves. Focusing on ourselves gives us an opportunity to see how others hear and perceive us.
What book has made the biggest impact on your life?
Steve Farzam: Man’s Search for Meaning by Dr. Frankel. This has given me an opportunity to truly value the important things in my life. It also allows me to shift my perspective to positive and more meaningful things that are long-lasting and not material.
Do you value intelligence or common sense more? Why?
Steve Farzam: Although I am a big advocate for intelligence, I think what resonates more with me is common sense. Particularly, we all put our pants on the same way regardless of our Socio-economic status or job title. I think it serves us better to find commonalities and mutual interests rather than being smarter than the person next to us. This also is more appealing to the average person.
What would you consider to be the perfect day?
Steve Farzam: My perfect day involves the basics… Waking up, treating my colleagues with respect and dignity. Eating healthy with mindfulness and self-care throughout the day and the ability to express my gratitude to those people that surround me. Most importantly coming home to a safe environment and being free of suffering.