Taking 10 with...Lindsay Madden-Nadeau

Taking 10 with...Lindsay Madden-Nadeau

Sunday 13th May 2018

By Michelle Hammond

Q1 - How did your childhood influence your work ethic and attitude towards business?

I started work at a young age helping my brothers with their paper round where we needed to deliver to over 100 houses daily,  then follow up on collecting money etc.  It taught me responsibility at a very young age.

In order to put myself through school I worked a part time job three evenings a week and also on the weekend at the Famous ‘Tim Horton's’,  it was the busiest in the city and really taught me about multitasking and responsibility.

I grew up with a successful father who was always winning awards for top sales and a mother who owned and operated her own business. My brother's and i are all very responsible and all took on work very young, they too have become successful in their careers. I think it taught us how be responsible and work hard which I feel has partially added to my success today.

Q2 - What do you believe the principles of a successful business are today?

The principal of success in any business relates to the people in the organisation, ensuring you set up an atmosphere to engage, inspire and encourage personal growth shows you care. If your people are happy and feel valued they will work harder and show loyalty to your business. Once you have your people in place it is important to get your strategies aligned and plan the priorities, ensuring you
communicate so everyone is on the same page and delegate when necessary. Give your people the trust they need to succeed and be creative.

Q3 - Looking back, what was your best business decision?

My best business decision was maximizing our current partnerships, rather than seeking a newer partner. I continued to grow and build on the relationship creating a set of tools for the spa managers to use to make it easier to execute the brand. When you have stability you should try and maximize these relationships rather than throw them away. 

On a personal level my best business decision was coming out to the Middle East 12 years ago and working for a new opening of Raffles Dubai. This led to so much responsibility and growth and allowed me the opportunity to watch a city grow right in front of me. There was access to growth and innovation that I hadn’t seen in other areas I have visited. Additionally I had a better opportunity to travel and see the world, expanding my mind.

Q4 - Who has influenced you the most through your career?

The constant changing industry and connecting to outside knowledge is what fuels my fire. I can’t say it has been one particular person but FRHI hotels gave me so much opportunity that is was due to a series of professional, knowledgeable leaders that has brought me to where I am today. Each person has taught me different things, viewpoints and ways to deal with business, and many have shared their passion for their work which is inspiring.

Q5 - What was your most difficult / worst business decision?

I found it difficult to let go of projects I felt passionate about but was getting little support on. I couldn’t understand why people didn’t have the same passion and it was frustrating. I began to better understand where and who I needed to focus my time on and ultimately it became a positive decision as it serves me better and the people who are engaged. You just can't possibly control all aspects of the job- pick your battles!

Q6 - What would you say was the single most advantageous character trait for success?

Emotional Intelligence is at the top of my list, if someone is intellectual you can teach them almost anything if they are willing to learn and are engaged. In my career I have been able to stretch people who were in different roles in their careers and based on their intellect they have achieved greater things and grown on to stronger roles.

Q7 - What happens when you’re stressed or overwhelmed?

I rarely allow myself to get overwhelmed but when I do I tend to retreat, spend time alone, and not over-promise on what I can deliver both professionally and personally. I have recently found Yin Yoga which has changed my life, helped me to quiet my mind and help with a variety of stress related aspects in my life including sleeping better and generally letting stuff go.

Q8 - How do you invest in your own wellbeing. How do you look after yourself?

I literally live the well-being life with a sense of balance that is good for me and my lifestyle. I feel it is important to invest in myself and see a doctor of Chinese medicine and benefit from regular acupuncture and cupping. I practice yin yoga and have a personal trainer a few times a week. I enjoy fueling my body with food that is good for me, and sleep is a major thing for me. I see a life coach who provides tools to help me better associate with my personal values and contributes to my own personal growth which has been instrumental in my behavior.

For my vacations or down time I like to go places I can be outside and walk, hike and explore different cultures. I am also about to take 2 weeks and complete a yin yoga teacher training course in Bali where there is a specific attention to mindfulness, Tibetan Buddhist teachings, traditional Chinese medicine and meridian health and the art of letting go.

Q9 - If you could change one thing about the spa and wellness industry what would it be and why?

In terms of relevance now- I would put sustainability at the forefront of wellbeing, with global warming already affecting different elements of climate change we need to shift the focus and see this essential rather than optional at the moment.

Q10 - Finally, What’s your favourite quote or the best advice you’ve ever been given?

“Manage your expectations and you manage your disappointments”


1. What’s your favourite book

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

2. What’s your favourite film of all time

Little Women- I watched it every year with my mother and we still enjoy watching it.

3. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?

Richard Branson- I love his approach and enjoyed his biography- he is so experienced I would love to spend a day understanding what makes him tick!

4. You get taken to your favourite place to be, where are you taken?

Africa holds a special place in my heart- it’s the sunrises, the landscapes and connection to the culture and the animals. It operates with such simplicity in nature and brings you back to minimalism and the important things in life.

5. Your perfect dinner is?

Anything with a sunset and good friends.

6. Your go to drink is?

Mushroom Coffee

7. Your favourite sweet treat is?

Dark Chocolate

8. What’s your favourite essential oil / scent?

Eucalyptus- its soothing and helps me with clarity

9. You go for a treatment - what do you have and why?

I love Thai Massage and when travelling in China really love Chinese Medicine and Cupping.

10.What’s your favourite flower?

I tend to buy myself Tulips- always

11.You want to sleep deeply, what do you do?

I practice yin yoga before sleep, take magnesium citrate and use Deep Relax religiously before bed.

12.You want to energise fast, what do you do?

I take Mushroom Coffee and add bulletproof to it

13.The theme tune to your life is?

‘Suddenly I see” by KT Tunstall

14.What makes you laugh to your belly?

GIF’s from my friends- the girls are hilarious!

15.What’s your favourite season?

Summer- I like the heat and love being outside

16. What’s your favourite colour?


17. Your favourite time of day is?

I love watching the sunset

18. If you could have been anyone or anything else, what / who would you be?

I would be me - I am happy with me :-) But I would have spent more time on charity and contributed more.

19. What’s your current TV guilty secret?

Grey’s Anatomy and Suits

20. Magic dust - you can learn one new skill instantly, what is it?


Lindsay Madden-Nadeau is the Global Director of Well-being, Accor Luxury brands and is responsible for the Raffles, Fairmont and MGallery wellbeing portfolios.  Having working alongside  Andrew Gibson, previous VP Wellbeing Accor Luxury brands, Lindsay is responsible for defining and developing the Well-Being brands for Raffles, Fairmont and MGallery, including marketing and strategy of each brand.

Lindsay is an integral part of the initial concept and design inspirations as well as the successful pre and post opening support for these teams.  Lindsay rejoined the company 3 years ago as the Global Director of Operations and Integrations across Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel with a key focus on operational excellence, quality and strategic direction of our key business platforms. Lindsay was previously Regional Spa Director for MSPA International a Spa and Hospitality company based out of the UAE. Prior to this, she was Director of Spa and Wellness at Talise Spa at Madinat Jumeirah (Dubai). Madden-Nadeau also held positions in FRHI’s luxury spa brand operations teams.

Connect with Lindsay


Want to learn more about what’s possible, practical and beneficial in the treatment room for those with chronic health conditions?

Visit the tpot website

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