Creating Our Own Leadership Values

By Rick Gabrielsen President, Kupuna Hospitality, LLC | November 06, 2011

Often confused with position, popularity or charisma, leaders today appear to be thrust into a leadership role that many want no part of. In any relationship or venture, it appears that most individuals lack the fundamentals of what a "leader" is and most importantly the definition. Let's start by looking at the definition of a leader and then the values aspect of the words as stated in the Merriam Webster Dictionary. A leader is defined as "something that leads" and a value is defined as "something (as a principle or quality) intrinsically valuable or desirable". The reference in each to the "something" appears to have no feelings or emotion. Could we now begin to use the leadership term as "something that leads with value or desire"? That would then describe a leader as one that draws upon emotion and value in each of their plans, processes or decisions. Let's together discuss the leadership values in our industry today and use this platform to review what I think are the components to creating your own leadership values. The five values of leadership I look to are in the "ING", "Listening, Volunteering, Mentoring, Deciding and Adjusting". Creating your own leadership values is a work of art, blended through time and continually re-shaped.

Listening

Do you recall as a youngster when you could not talk and your greatest attribute was listening? How enjoyable was it to listen to a story or learn to crawl, did you give instructions to the teacher or your parents? When learning to ride a bicycle or read, was it you that was gifted without instructions? Has your interaction with others turned from open ended questions to closed? Do you prefer short answers in order to gain the lead in a conversation with a quick follow up of another closed- end question? Have you found yourself over the years adjusting to these differences? Do you recognize when your leadership values change? Take a moment to only listen and not respond and I am confident that your position will change abruptly where you will learn patience, compassion and a wealth of knowledge to enhance your own leadership values. Teamwork values are based in the listening mode which allows others to form their opinions, process their direction and then communicate to the team a plan of work. Understanding others point of view and creating a dialogue is only completed through the ears. To listen is to learn about something of value.

Volunteering

At a Board meeting a few years ago while in a discussion of due dates, etc. by the President, one member sitting adjacent to me, looked over and said "is this not a volunteer organization?" I have been interested in his comment for years. The meaning for me was that we are all executives in each of our own industries and we volunteer to give back to others. Volunteering over the years is near and dear to my core. It provides a buffet of values and leadership skills to learn from, in many instances examples to retain and some to avoid. Remember in this arena, you do not receive compensation only the reward for the soul. The majority who volunteer, do it before, in the middle or after a "job" and the learning is as if you are in a college setting where all education is pursued not provided. Providing to others the value of time in a setting of unselfishness, creates learning unseen in the business world and develops relationships to lead. Where can you find a group of individuals from a variety of industries who share a common goal with an opportunity to learn so much about leadership and it is complimentary…a reward for your time!

Mentoring

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.