In the fast-paced world of hospitality, managing a business at the highest level requires the ability to step into the shoes of any employee.

“Your hands are really involved in everything,” said Erick Anderson, general manager of The Lord Camden Inn and Grand Harbor Inn in Camden. He will manage a third hotel, called 16 Bay View, when it opens later this year.

His areas of expertise include guest services, maintenance, housekeeping and every other aspect of running a hotel. It’s a demanding job, Anderson said, but the payoff comes when you see the smiles on customers’ faces.

General and operations managers are needed in a wide variety of industries, which places them among the professionals in highest demand among employers in Maine. It isn’t the sort of job you can just walk in off the street and take on. It involves experience in all areas of the business.

And you must be ready to take on new challenges each day, Anderson said.

“Every day is completely unlike the other,” he said. “Every guest is completely different, as well.”

But that’s part of what makes the job of general manager exciting, Anderson said. It can be all-consuming at times, but it is rarely boring.

Like many general managers, Anderson made his way to running a string of boutique hotels not by planning, but by doing. His original plan was to be an engineer, but he decided to work one season at a resort in Florida to save up money for school. By the time the season was over, he was pretty much hooked.

Anderson worked in various areas of hospitality from housekeeping to food preparation and service. His willingness to learn and grow ultimately led him to the general manager position in Camden.

“The captain of the ship, if you will,” he said.