60 Seconds With

“Control the controllables” – 60 Seconds with Mark Scott-Lennon, Managing Director of Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel

By Business & Finance
18 June 2024

Mark Scott-Lennon is the managing director of the Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel, a luxury hotel situated in an 18th century castle overlooking the Dublin Bay. The Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel offers a perfect blend of historical luxury and modern convenience.  

What was your first job?

My first job was working in the lobby of a castle when I was 16 years old. It was a bustling job as the lobby serves as a local living room for many people.

What motivated you to pursue a career in this field?

I really enjoyed the energetic atmosphere of the hotel and the opportunity to interact with diverse individuals from various backgrounds. Additionally, I drew inspiration from my grandad’s accomplishments in the hotel industry, and it felt special to contribute to the family business.

What do you consider your greatest achievement to date?

My greatest achievement to date was successfully refinancing the Castle with my mother following the recession in 2012. It was a challenging journey to secure the necessary financing and restore the hotel to a more stable financial position.

Would you have done anything differently in your career?

If given the chance, I would have spent longer periods working abroad. Although I briefly worked in other hotels abroad during summers, I missed the opportunity to do so for an extended period. My brother Joseph, who is my fellow director, gained great experience working in exceptional hotels abroad for six years, and I can see the immense value and confidence it has given him.

How would you define success in one sentence?

If our staff and our customers are happy then I feel pretty successful, and everything else in the business looks after itself.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I’ve received is to “control the controllables.” Instead of worrying about things beyond your control, focusing on positive actions and finding solutions leads to quicker resolution of issues. It’s easy to become problem-focused and dwell on challenges, but concentrating on what we can control helps us make progress.

How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

Myself and my brother Joseph who now own the business are motivated by the desire to continue our family’s legacy in the hotel and build upon the reputation established by our grandad Paddy and mother Eithen. It also helps that I genuinely enjoy my job which contributes to my motivation. As for the team, I strive to create a positive and supportive work environment, recognize their achievements, and provide opportunities for growth and development.

How do you handle adversity?

When faced with adversity, I try to adopt a solution-focused mindset rather than dwelling on the issue. This approach helps me maintain a positive outlook and proactively work towards finding resolutions.

How do you relax?

To relax, I enjoy spending quality time with my wife Susan and our sons Mitch & Chuck . Socializing with friends and exercise, in particular cycling.

What are your aspirations for the future of the business?

My grandad built up a hotel business from a 13 bedroom Castle to hotels in Bunratty, Cork and two in New York which is pretty inspiring. In the future, we would hope to have the opportunity to grow the business and potentially expand to new locations.

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