Skip to Main Content

Adam Goldstein: Hard lessons of leadership

Published on 1/26/17Bookmark and Share

adam goldstein

There are those who don’t want to be leaders – and for good reasons. After all, leaders live pretty intense lives and will never achieve 100% support, points out Adam Goldstein, President and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. A look at today’s political environment is making that abundantly clear, he adds.

Those who seek leadership roles or wish to expand their capabilities have a unique opportunity to be up close and personal with Mr. Goldstein as he shares his remarkable insight at the final lecture in the 2016-17 Leadership Lectures series from the Center for Leadership at Florida International University (FIU). Mr. Goldstein will speak openly and candidly about leadership lessons he has learned in his almost 30-year career with Royal Caribbean. His Lecture will be on Thursday, February 16, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. in the Graham Center Ballroom on the Modesto A. Maidique campus of FIU.

The Leadership Lectures are free and open to the public, thanks to generous support from Mercantil Commercebank, but advanced registration is required.

“As a leader, you will have detractors and critics weighing in on every move you make,” Mr. Goldstein says.

“You have to acclimate to that as a leader. You have to learn to listen to adverse or contrary opinions and decide if there is value in the criticism. It’s a very interesting balancing act: to be sure of the course you’re taking but to be open to changing that course.”

Borrowing terms from the cruise industry, Mr. Goldstein says a leader needs an internal compass to steer forward. “You can’t be too stubborn and refuse to change. You have to be able to smoothly course-correct,” he says. “On the other hand, don’t be so unsure that you change your course with every new data point that comes in.”

Since Mr. Goldstein joined Royal Caribbean in 1988, the international cruising industry has grown from 3 to 25 million cruisers per year. Royal Caribbean itself has grown from 8 to 40+ ships, including the world’s largest cruise ship, the amazing Harmony of the Seas. Mr. Goldstein was named President and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. in 2014. He has been inducted into the Travel Industry Hall of Leaders and serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association.

Previously, Mr. Goldstein served as Chair of the Board of Directors of Cruise Lines International Association and as the National Chair of the Travel Industry Association of America (now U.S. Travel Association). He is a graduate of Princeton University and has a law degree from Harvard University, as well as an MBA from INSEAD, France, consistently ranked among the leading business schools in the world.

Mr. Goldstein’s Leadership Lecture will offer important tips for aspiring as well as established leaders. “For everyone, without exception, time is a scarce resource, important to all people a leader serves,” Mr. Goldstein says. “In order to become a leader and then succeed as a leader, you have to interact with people in such a way that makes them want to spend their precious time for you. If you can galvanize people to want to help you, to achieve your projects, you are more likely to achieve your goals.”