Category Archives: Leadership

Success through Successful Leadership

gg53723185Successful hospitality teams have successful hospitality leaders – no surprise! But what does it take to be a successful hospitality leader who can consistently drive team results?

Be in the right place, at the right time

Successful leaders know which place to be at which time. Is it the breakfast rush in the restaurant or the early morning checkout in the lobby? Is it the afternoon check-in or the busy valet parking around dinner time? Colleagues respond when leaders ‘lead by example’ and successful leaders know just when to do this..

Coaching after training, training before coaching 

Coaching and training are key to the success of teams and from my experience this has been proven time and time again. Training should always come first and successful leaders will take part in training the team and passing on experiences. Coaching is the fine tuning of training and a successful leader will understand the importance of this to the success of the team. Coaching can take place at anytime and can last for any length of time.

Communication, communication, communication 

Communication will be in any text book but in reality can be tough to master. Successful leaders know that communication must take place on different levels and use different tools. Emails, notice board, briefings, posters, pictures can all be used to communication messages to your team. Without communication you do not have a team. A successful leader will master strategic communication to get the message across.

Team building builds a team 

The old classic team building is always a great way to bring your team together outside the work environment. Successful leaders will not see team building as an annual event to tick the box. They see team building as a daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly activity as an effective way to bring different elements of the team together away from the work environment. Hospitality environments can become hectic – take your team away…

Be motivated to have a motivation plan

Successful leaders have a colleague motivation plan which will be structured in such a way that the team will continuously have sometime to look forward to – more information can be found in the ‘Do you have a colleague motivation plan’ blog post.

Listen before you expect your colleagues listen to you

Great leaders have mastered the art of listening before speaking – from experience a colleague who feels like they have been listened too (even tough they may not be 100% correct) is a colleague that feels respected in the team. Listen then seek to be listened too..

Inspiration is most powerful if you are inspired yourself 

Leaders who are inspired have inspired teams – you as a leader should look up to other leaders and I can guarantee you that your colleagues will follow you. But be sure to show your inspiration and seek to gain inspiration from your team. Who are you inspired by and do your colleagues know about it?

Please note: This article is published for information only and any recommendations given are the opinion of the author and therefore, should only be used if the reader feels they are applicable.

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 2, 2014 in Leadership, Management, Motivation


Do you have a Colleague Motivation Plan?

imagesR7RJ0MAFIt is a well-known fact that motivated colleagues are happy colleagues, and happy colleagues make happy guests. It can be all too easy to become too involved in the day to day operation forgetting that colleagues need motivation to continually create memorable experiences for guests.

Take some time to have a think about what you can include in your colleague motivation plan and in the long run it will bring great benefits to your area of responsibility.

What can be included in a motivation plan?

  1. Monthly/Quarterly teambuilding activities – in house or off premises
  2. Communication meeting schedule and communication plan
  3. Recognition scheme – colleague of the month, contribution to social media, guest ambassador
  4. Incentive schemes – upselling, add on, commission based
  5. Training and development
  6. Succession planning
  7. Communication of department goals
  8. Celebrating success
  9. 1 minute feedback/coaching
  10. Monthly 1-2-1 and appraisal management

The list above are examples which are commonly used to enhance colleague motivation and it is certainly not exhaustive. Through experience, the introduction of a structured motivation plan brings many benefits to the guest experience and this should be on top of the list of planning for future success. Motivated colleagues really are happy colleagues, and happy colleagues will always make happy guests.

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 4, 2014 in Leadership, Management, Motivation


The Art of Hospitality Leadership

The Art of Leadership: A shift in thinking?

The Oxford Dictionary defines leadership as ‘the action of leading a group of people or an organisation, or the ability to do this’ (Oxford, 2011). However, it can be argued that hospitality leadership expands much further than this. In years gone by, when economies moved at a much slower pace, man management was required for the success of organisations. However, in recent years, economies have become increasingly fast paced, more diverse and turbulent than ever. It is these circumstances call for a new type of individual, with ability to ‘perfect the art of leadership’.

Successful hospitality organisations, who maintain competitive advantage must seek individuals who understand the difference between management and leadership. Peter Drucker (1980), one of the most influential writers in management, highlighted many years ago this difference by explaining that ‘management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things’. Other management professionals such as Nick Obolensky (1997) highlight the different between management and leadership by giving examples such as:

  1. The manager drives people; the leader coaches them.
  2. The manager says ‘I’; the leader says ‘we.’
  3. The manager knows how it is done; the leader shows how.
  4. The manager says ‘Go’; the leader says ‘Let’s go.’”

Although there are many elements which make an effective leader, in hospitality, there are two which really stand out:

Being in the right place at the right time

‘Leading by example’ is a phrase which is often exhausted in the hospitality industry. It appears in text books, articles, magazines, job adverts and is given as some form of question or answer at every interview I have been too. So why is this? Well it is the single most important element of effective leadership in the industry. The hospitality industry requires its leaders to ‘be in the thick of it’, ‘hands on’ and always ‘leading by example’.

At University, I read a book called 100 Tips for Hoteliers and the tip which really stood out for me was ‘Be in the Right Place at the Right Time’. Every leader which I consider to be successful has worked out how to master this. They seem to have a fine art for being there when you need them. They are parking cars, checking in guests, answering telephones, serving drinks at the very time when you need help, all while maintaining a consistent standard.

These leaders work with the team when it really needs support and set a standard for teamwork and consistency. However, caution should be taken here to find a balance between ‘leading by example’ and letting your team shine. Work with your team but don’t interfere too much. I have witnessed times and been in the situation myself when I should have perhaps taken more of a ‘back seat’ and allowed my team to shine.

Inspiring others to be better than you

Effective leadership is also about creating and maintaining a solid foundation for success. A leader must understand the importance of those around him/her and neuter them to meet their full potential. Coaching and mentoring is the key to this and has somewhat taken over the notion of training in recent years.

Leaders with the ability to coach and mentor have a clear advantage over others. here it is all about empowerment and allowing freedom for innovation. The leader must allow for this to happen and offer guidance, advice and corrective actions when necessary. Essentially a leader’s role is to inject energy in the team and inspire others to perform.

Throughout my ten years in the hospitality industry I can only really remember a small number of leaders who had an ability to coach and mentor others in a way which inspired the entire team. I was able to learn a great deal from these people and take away the following examples:

  1. Allow others to be innovative
  2. Know when to help others and when to let others help themselves
  3. Training is telling and showing, coaching and mentoring is allowing others to show and tell you
  4. Coaching and mentoring is ongoing and never stops
  5. Don’t be scared of people who can potentially be better than you
  6. Find a mentor yourself, otherwise how do you know how to do it?
Summing it up

Effective hospitality leaders allow the team to thrive and take responsibility for providing exceptional experiences to their guests. A leader should ‘lead by example’ but know when to allow team to shine. A leader should work on coaching and mentoring the team to create a foundation for success. These methods will allow for a culture of empowerment and belonging.  In essence, effective leadership is ‘the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he/she wants to do it’ (Dwight D. Eisenhower). This is the art of hospitality leadership.

Please note: This article is published for information only and any recommendations given are the opinion of the author and therefore, should only be used if the reader feels they are applicable.

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 17, 2011 in Leadership, Management