Six Leadership Skills Required for Success in Today's Hospitality Industry
By Court Williams Chief Executive Officer, HVS Executive Search | September 15, 2019
As the economy continues to rebound, the hospitality industry is buzzing with activity. Hotel companies are appointing new leaders in an effort to speed up growth in response to market demand. The rapidly-changing scenario has resulted in the profile of hotel company CEOs evolving considerably over the past 10 years, and as technology becomes more sophisticated, leaders who have experience in sales, marketing, revenue management and development have begun to challenge candidates who came up through operations.
Requirements for successful CEOs in today's hospitality industry go beyond those abilities, however. Here are some of the leadership skills that are becoming more sought-after by premium brands.
1. Transformational Leadership Ability
The success of any business venture depends on its leadership, and as we head into the second half of 2019, the hospitality industry is coming to grips with the concept of transformational leadership (TL) as a promising option for the future. Previously embraced primarily by the information technology sector, TL focuses on leading people by means of an incentive-driven methodology, rather than a "carrot-and-stick" approach.
Transformational leaders provide an ongoing vision for the business that includes a culture of employee engagement, high productivity, and a commitment to the wellbeing of both staff and guests. The success of this practice depends on being able to inspire people to want to make changes that result in improvements to the business, as well as in benefits to themselves. TL is also laser-focused on the technological disruption the hospitality industry is currently dealing with.
Marriott Hotels' CEO Arne Sorenson is a prime example of a transformational hospitality leader. A businessman, a LinkedIn Influencer, and a global citizen who is comfortable with technology, Sorenson makes it a habit to give back to his employees, as well as to shareholders and customers. His passionate belief that everyone deserves and wants genuine hospitality underlies many of the cross-cultural successes Marriott has enjoyed over the years.