Our guest for this session of ‘The Mindset Shift’ is Paul Kelly, the Chief Executive of Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority. Paul leads Fáilte Ireland as it helps the tourism industry, Ireland’s largest provider of employment, to survive through and recover from the Covid19 crisis.
He has led Fáilte Ireland to be listed in the top 20 best large organisations to work in and they are the only public sector body to be on this list. In 2020 Paul was named as Ireland’s Most Trusted Leader by Great Places to Work. Prior to his appointment as CEO of Fáilte Ireland, Paul held several management and marketing leadership roles in FMCG, Financial Services, Premium Drinks, Health and Education in Ireland and internationally.
Paul speaks to Tim McCarthy about the challenges he faced growing up as a child with rare health conditions that resulted in him being unable to participate in sport or any physical activity and left him very short sighted. Paul opened up about his experience having a heart attack at the age of 14 and how he got a whole new lease of life after his heart surgery. Paul explains that it was these tough times that taught him the importance of listening and trying to figure things out on your own.
Paul speaks very highly about his father’s dedication to the customer and his mother’s care for anyone in need. These two traits have helped to mould the great leader that Paul is today.
After working for a few years in Procter & Gamble, Paul decided to take a gap year and go and see the world. He explains to Tim that it was this trip that made him realise his passion for tourism. Paul was so impressed by people’s ability to turn anything into a tourist attraction.
Finally, Paul spoke so highly of the people in Fáilte Ireland as he explained how hard they have been working during Covid. Behind the scenes they have been supporting the HSE with their marketing activities and providing a covid support club for Irish businesses alongside many more initiatives. Paul said the most important thing he has learned during this global pandemic is the importance of regular open communication. He explains how Fáilte Ireland have increased regular meetings to ensure everyone has the information they need to be able to freely make decisions.