Giving Leadership - The Best Return on Investment for Your Hotel

By David Lund Hospitality & Leadership Expert, The Hotel Financial Coach | October 02, 2016

Hospitality Financial leadership is about making a new connection to the skills, talents and passion that managers have with guest service and college engagement and attaching that connection directly to their third power – their financial power. It's true what we say in our industry, look after the guests and the money will look after itself but only when we invest in financial leadership does this really ring true. Today we want financially engaged leadership teams across the board and building the team that has all three skills is paramount to your business success. That's Hospitality Financial Leadership, a management style that embraces guest service, colleague engagement and a superior return on investment by letting the team develop and use their natural financial talents.   

"It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving." - Albert Einstein

When we give as a leader we create two things. Both of these creations are the keys to being an effective business leader and having more fun being that leader. This occurs at any level, you don't have to be the General Manager to enjoy the results and it works best when practiced by everyone. Imagine being more effective and having more fun! and it's free! In addition to having fun and being more effective it is hands down the best strategy to grow your business and its value. When you lead with the kind of caring and engagement that is possible your team will follow your direction and it's a familiar story from there.

Building the kind of team that cares about each other translates into colleagues and managers that care about their guests. This is the way to build an amazing team that will propel your business forward on all measures, especially financially. It's a tried and true method and what makes it difficult is how busy and how wired our lives have become. The secret to making this style of leadership come alive in your hotel is slow things down to the next person you encounter, slow it down to the next conversation. One at a time, slow and meaningful, making every human interaction stand on its own as a building block for your team and its leadership. 

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When we think about leveraging our business and managing and enhancing the bottom line we often think about more rate, higher occupancy, lower costs, fewer OTA bookings, better weather, the list goes on and on. The one thing we often miss is, who are we being as the leader of the business?  The real question is who are we being and what are we doing inside our organization. Doing and being are the key to establishing your leadership in such a strong and personal way that your team will want to follow. Your colleagues and managers will follow because they like the experience as its warm and natural. Your team will build itself on this doing and being. Doing amazing things for each other and your guests and being a thoughtful and caring leader. Recruiting will be easy because you have such a high bar and a clear mission.

Serving others first is the hallmark of your style and the members of your team emulate this culture.  We have all been in the opposite position inside a business or organization. The opposite being the kind of place where it's all about the money, the bottom line.  The greed and lack of any personal commitment to each other and the missing mission of service is all too apparent.  The good news for everyone here is we're in the hospitality business so we don't need to worry too much about being nice. Actually, that's what people want and giving your customers what they want and lots of it is good for business. It keeps your customers coming back and it creates wild raving fans. You develop this incredibly valuable leadership style by following the simple and ancient giving formula. 

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.