Lead Your Hotel With Authenticity

By Mostafa Sayyadi Management Consultant, The Change Leader Consulting Inc | May 17, 2020

Many hotel executives wonder what academic and leadership writers are trying to explain via models. There really is not much difference except that a theoretical framework has been tried and tested while a model may be an application that leaders can learn and teach others. For instance, various models have been presented in an attempt to portray the concept of leadership.

However, there have been several shifts in the study of leadership, and subsequently newer approaches to leadership emerged leading up to the emergence of authentic leadership model. While there are many leadership models that hotel executives can apply, my emphasis will be based upon the authentic leadership model. This article examines authentic leadership model that is directed at developing a better understanding of the concept and evolution of authentic leadership model.

Authentic leaders can build a highly effective hotel through taking a change-oriented leadership approach, which highly manifests itself in talent development, organizational culture, and inspiring vision for the future. They generate a shared and inspiring vision for the future expansion into global markets. Also, they build a learning climate through identifying intellectual capital and empowering them.

Most importantly, they transform hotels by attempting to change the basic values, beliefs, and attitudes of followers so that they are willing to perform beyond their previous or originally level specified by the hotel in their job description. They also contribute to new services to meet dynamic market needs, through inspirational motivation and higher expectations for new and strategic opportunities to meet the needs of customers in the marketplace.

A Birds-Eye View of Leadership

Leadership, when assessed from a distance, is somewhat elusive. Scholars found some mismatches between theoretical concepts of leadership and empirical investigations, and explained that while the theoretical concepts of leadership are extensive, empirical studies could not have sufficiently supported these theoretical concepts. In fact, past studies about leadership lacked a multilevel approach, and only focused on downward control. Not accounting for a middle-level leader who takes a two-way approach to influence both superiors and subordinates---more of liaison.

Another reason was that there is no determined set of variables used to investigate effective leadership, owing to the diversity of leadership theories and models with different perspectives about effective leadership. A third reason relates to studies about leadership that lack a systematic approach and stem from interdisciplinary approaches. Thus, leadership has remained relatively silent on how to integrate theories, methods, and concepts from diverse disciplinary domains to provide a rich basis for understanding the true leadership theoretical and applicable concepts.

There is another reason that leadership studies have failed to disclose the nature of filling the leadership gaps between performance and success. In many instances, there is no direct connection between leadership theories and models, with the exception of one leadership theoretical model----authentic leadership-----which has had an impact upon today's changing situations.

Hotels in general confront challenging situations in which they need to proactively respond to every environmental demand. A comprehensive leadership model can be a basis for understanding and perhaps anticipating these emerging issues. Leadership theoretical models reflect positivist philosophy, which manifests itself in exploring the current situation rather than investigating the most desired situation for a hotel.

The key idea from this particular section of the article is to provide authentic leadership model that has emerged as more applicable and more adaptable today than the many others that are available today. This leadership model will be covered in-depth throughout the rest of the article with the main focal point being introduced here as an emerging model of leadership, which is describes in the following sections.

Leadership is Action, Not Traits

Leadership trait perspective is perhaps the most venerable intellectual tradition in leadership research that highly recommends an approach in which great men and women with certain preferred traits influencing followers to do what the leaders wish. This influence helps followers to achieve group or organizational goals that reflect excellence and some kind of higher order effectiveness. Scholars collect and summarize them as being honest, inspirational, competent and credible. They also identify the following traits: drive (a broad term which includes achievement, motivation, ambition, energy, tenacity, and initiative), leadership motivation (the desire to lead but not to seek power as an end in itself), honesty and integrity, self-confidence (which is associated with emotional stability), cognitive or being able to think- on their -feet ability, and knowledge of the business.

Furthermore, scholars suggest several other traits such as initiative, farsightedness, and integrity. Therefore, leadership trait perspective highlights that a leader is significantly different from other employees, and portrays various traits as a leader. What can leaders take from leadership trait perspective? The most important thing to do is list the traits of great leaders that you know and work with, then figure out how to acquire the traits that you fell will help you to prosper in your hotel.

Empirical studies explain the paradoxes of this perspective, where initially, there exist some mismatches between today's leadership conditions and those traits which have already been determined for leaders. In fact, this paradox reconfirms that some traits that were adaptive in ancestral environments might no longer produce adaptive behaviors in modern environments, especially when these environments dramatically differ, as is the case with those of modern humans running multinational hotels today.

New requirements are continuously required for leadership in global environments today. Subsequently, these traits may have different effects on the followers dependence on the situation, where a trait which aids one's ascension to or success as a leader, might in other ways represent threats to one's success or survival as a leader. The ultimate paradox is that while leadership trait perspective tends to treat personality variables in an atomistic fashion, suggesting that each trait acted singly to determine leadership effects, it highlights that these personality traits could not have a linear impact on the outcomes of leadership, and conversely emphasize the role of other traits as a critical component of this relationship.

It is evident that leadership trait perspective is a weak indicator that has been challenged in terms of successfully developing a limited set of traits for an effective leadership.  Leadership trait perspective could not be applicable at the organizational level or even for global implementation. Although there are many issues that boggle the mind about leadership trait perspective, it is one of the perspectives of leadership that gets a great deal of air-time. The key is to see the traits, consider implementing them for yourself and your followers and not anticipate a large change in the leadership gaps that exist in the hotel but simply improve individual performance.

The Seven Practices Hotel Executives Need To Do To Become an Authentic Leader

The key for hotel executives is that seven practices have been determined for authentic leadership:

  1. Positive psychological capital
  2. Positive moral perspective
  3. Self-awareness
  4. Leadership process/behavior management
  5. Self-regulation
  6. Follower development
  7. Organizational context

It is important for hotel executives to develop a positive work climate in which employees more effectively contribute to a hotel's performance and competitive advantage. Hotel executives must also have the desirable expertise about the authentic decision-making process, which identifies moral dilemmas, and then evaluates and selects the best available alternative to be implemented.

Furthermore, hotel executives need to understand that authentic leaders continually understand their own beliefs, strengths, desires, values, and aspirations. These leaders can distinguish the processes and mechanisms whereby an authentic leader influences his/her followers. Authentic leaders can effectively influence their followers through taking various processes such as positive social exchange. Hotel executives should at least be aware of self-awareness and self-regulation by which authentic leaders effectively align their core values and individual interests with institutional interests and their practices.

In fact, a strong alignment can be achieved in values and goals by using a transparent process between leaders and followers. Hotel executives are already aware that an authentic leader takes a coaching role for transforming and developing people. Finally, it is important for hotel executives to develop effective workplaces that promote the depth and range of knowledge access and sharing and provide equal opportunity for all employees at various levels of the hotel in order to actively respond to the constant changes occurring in external environment.

In Conclusion

This article has several implications for hotel executives. First, this article adds to a relatively small body of literature and develops our understanding of authentic leadership in hotels. Second, this article develops a new and dynamic conception of authentic leadership within hotels. I advance the current literature on authentic leadership by offering novel insights into how authentic leaders can create new values through a transparent process.

This article also suggests new insights that identify authentic leadership as a primary driver, which influences individual performance in hotels. Further, I suggest that a hotel's ability to recognize the changes occurring in external environments and respond to them can be significantly affected by authentic leadership.

The question posited for hotel executives is to accept the challenge of authentic leadership development in order to address the current gaps in leadership effectiveness and improve their competitiveness in today's changing business environment.

Mr. Sayyadi As an international management consultant with over 10 years of experience in industry, Mostafa Sayyadi works with senior business leaders, mangers, and staff to effectively develop knowledge and innovation in companies. Mr. Sayyadi has led change management initiatives and the development of enterprise strategic management frameworks to strategically manage organizational knowledge. Working in various countries assists global and domestic leaders to minimize the business risks of working across cultures and with people from diverse cultural backgrounds, enhance their intercultural effectiveness, deliver innovation and business results. In recognition of his work with Australian Institute of Management and Australian Human Resources Institute, Mr. Sayyadi has been awarded the titles, "Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management" (AFAIM), "Certified Professional Manager" (CPMgr)" and "Certified Professional in Human Resources" (CAHRI)". Mostafa Sayyadi can be contacted at +61 411273956 or inquiry@thechangeleader.com Please visit http://www.thechangeleader.com for more information. Extended Biography

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Hotel Newswire is a newswire service that distributes press releases on behalf of our users. If you decide to submit a press release for distribution through our system we will transmit your entire press release including any personal information therein contained to our media contacts and online distribution points including search engines. This is the only redistribution of your information that we engage in. Your submission of press releases through our system indicates consent with this policy. The information we collect during your registration process is used to notify users about updates to our service and inform users of any special events hosted by Hotel Newswire. This information is not shared with other organizations for commercial or non-commercial purposes.

Cookies: Our system requires the use of cookies to enable the user to log back into our website to access information from the newswire, without having to log in each time using the required username and password.

If you do not want to receive email from us in the future, please let us know by following instructions included in our communication with you. Users who supply us with telephone numbers online may receive telephone contact from us regarding their account, or informing them of new products and services available on the HotelExecutive website. If you do not wish to receive such telephone calls, please edit your account and remove your phone number from your account profile. This can be done from your user account menu.

Ad Servers: We do not partner with or have any relationship with any ad server companies. From time to time, we may use customer information for new uses not previously disclosed in our privacy notice. If our information practices change at any time, we will post the policy changes to our website to notify you of these changes and provide you with the ability to opt out of these new uses. If you are concerned about how your information is used, you should check back at our website periodically.

Upon request we provide site visitors with access to all information (including proprietary information) that we maintain about them. Users can access this information by logging in to their account.

Security: We always use industry-standard encryption technologies while transferring and receiving user data exchanged with our site. We have appropriate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of information that we have collected from you on our site. We do not store credit card information in our systems.

If you feel that this site is not following its stated information policy, you may contact us.

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Zoe Connolly

"Hospitality is a social business. It's a person to person business-that's how we provide our service. The act of social distancing is foreign to what we know in hospitality. Until this virus has cleared itself from the US, it's going to be hard to resume our level of personalized service to our guests," writes Jim Beley, General Manager of The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary NC. In this article, Beley, a 48-year hotel veteran, weighs in on how COVID-19 has affected the hospitality industry and the steps his team is taking to ensure a successful reopening, whenever that may be. READ MORE

Didi Lutz
Nelson Migdal
Nigel Lobo
Brenda Fields
Jesse Boles
Marco Albarran
Bonnie Knutson
Bob Kelleher
Fred B. Roedel, III
Marcus Nicolls
Coming up in July 2020...

Hotel Spa: Back to Nature

As the Wellness Industry continues to expand, hotel spas are also diversifying, placing a greater emphasis on overall well-being. For some spas, this means providing clients with all-inclusive packages that include fitness classes, healthy dining, and offsite leisure activities, in addition to their core services. For example, spas near ski resorts are offering packages that include lift passes, pre-ski yoga sessions, after-ski dinners and spa treatments. Other spas are offering packages that include massages, saunas, mineral baths, hot springs, and recreational hiking and snowmobile activities. These kinds of spa offerings are also part of a "Back to Nature" movement that encourages guests to get out and experience the healing qualities of nature. One such therapy is the Japanese practice known as "forest bathing" which has become popular with spas that are near wooded areas. This practice relies on the ancient power of a forest for promoting a sense of health and well-being. Other spas are incorporating precious metals and stones into their health and beauty treatments - such as silver, gold, pearls and amber. Silver ion baths relax the body and mind, reduce fatigue, and restore energy balance. Gold keeps skin radiant and can even treat various skin diseases and infections, due to its antibacterial qualities. Amber is used to calm the nervous system and to relieve stress. Other natural products and therapies that are increasingly in demand include sound therapy, cryotherapy, infra-red saunas, and even CBD oil, which is being used in massages, facials and foot scrubs, providing a new form of stress relief. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will document these trends and other new developments, and report on how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.