Joe Issa Is About Being The Best While Having Fun, Not Competing For It
Many people spend the prime of their life trying to be the best at any cost and setting the bar for others to surpass. But for Joe Issa, it’s not about competing to be the best because he is already “about being the best”, to use an idiom by Frank Ocean.
But it is Bethany Hamilton’s phrase that comes closest to Issa’s position: “I think it doesn’t matter if you are the best surfer in the world. I’m going to try to be the best surfer I can be. It’s not all about competing and being the best. It’s more about having fun and just doing what you love.
When Issa set his academic records at College of the Holy Cross in the US and raised the bar for other Jamaicans to jump over he wasn’t competing with anybody. In fact, his extracurricular activities on campus saw him found a school magazine and charity, as well as host a radio programme to inform students and the wider community of Jamaica’s culture and heritage while playing reggae music, which he also did in community clubs.
Thus, his record-breaking feats were achieved not by studying late into the morning in order to beat everybody in class, but by just being the best he could be in an area which he loves while having fun, and in the process happens to be better than anybody else.
Similarly, when Issa became the best in the world in tourism, which he loves and pushes, he was not competing with anybody; it’s just that his immensely innovative work in raising the bar for entertainment and fun in the sector did not go unnoticed at the time the world body was looking for someone to award “Young Hotelier of the World 1994”.
Issa was also not competing with anybody when he was judged a Rising Star by Travel Magazine four years in a row, and once again he achieved this while having fun. The same can be said of Issa when he breaks sales records within his Cool Group of companies and tops funding for his Cool Charity subsidiary.
Issa shows another dimension to record-breaking feats when he fetes the achievers, such as his colleagues when they receive prestigious business awards; and even earlier while he was running his parents hotels he would celebrate the guests who have made the most repeat visits.
But the most lavish of all was when Issa sent a helicopter to pick up the hotel’s 500th repeat guest at Sangster International Airport, gave the unsuspecting couple a complimentary weeks’ stay at the hotel, treated them with complimentary airline tickets courtesy of Pan American Airlines, and honored that at a gala buffet at the hotel and private dinner on the luxurious yacht M/Y Zein.
And if the treatment given to these honored guests seems lavish, think nothing of it, as it is said that nothing is too good for Issa’s guests, a policy he instituted and remains with him untill today.