Name: Bruce Harkness
Position title: Senior Vice President Human Resources & Customer Experience
Company name: Wyndham Destinations
When and why did you join the industry?
The mid 90s; quite simply my passion for travel, adventure and an interest in other cultures. The excitement that surrounds this industry is intoxicating. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to travel extensively as part of my work, which I greatly appreciate. I have seen the sun rise over the Great Wall and I have seen it set behind the Pyramids; travelled into Africa, Nepal, America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, thanks to the opportunities that this industry provides.
What do you like most about your job?
The opportunity to interact with people from different cultures and travel. I really enjoy connecting with people from all walks of life. There is always something new and interesting to learn from others. I also really enjoy creating career pathways for the next generation of leaders. That is a very rewarding part of my work.
What’s one of the biggest achievements of your career so far?
I am very proud to be part of the Wyndham Destinations leadership team and to be able to play a role in growing our business in Asia Pacific; it has been and continues to be a very exciting and rewarding journey. I also recently launched a book titled Performance Matters: The Ultimate Career Survival Guide, which is essentially a career coaching guide for the next generation of business leaders. Writing a book was labour of love but it has been excellent to give something back to an industry that has given me so much.
What’s the best advice ever given to you and who gave it?
My father taught me the virtue of hard work and the benefits that it can bring; he also instilled in me the principle that success is never a solo journey, so be sure to surround yourself with the talent and capability that can get you to where you aspire to be.
Who do you admire and see as a role model in the industry?
Barry Robinson, President and Managing Director of International Operations for Wyndham Destinations is a real inspiration for me. He is passionate about people and service excellence. At a business level he is extremely driven and one of the most entrepreneurial business leaders I have had the pleasure to have worked with.
What can people expect from your company and what sets it apart from the rest?
Apart from a genuine enthusiasm and love of our industry, we are customer obsessed as a company in all that we do! We keep the customer at the forefront of our decision making process, believe in our employees and understand that the strength of a company comes from its people.
What destinations are on your travel bucket list?
There are many, so it’s a big bucket! I love wilderness locations and prefer to travel the road less travelled so Tibet, Canada, Alaska, Iceland and Patagonia are all on the list. I just need a little bit more time but then again, don’t we all.