A Time to Lead and Stay Positive
By Mark Ricketts President & Chief Operating Officer, McNeill Hotel Company | June 2020
Extremely challenging, never seen in our lifetime scenarios like those now faced by the hospitality industry test our resolve as individuals, our sense of servant leadership and our overall corporate culture.
Realistically, no one has a perfected playbook that we can pull off an asset or property management shelf to guide our every step through this hyper-formidable situation. Clearly, we will need to combine our accumulated knowledge, experience and hospitality fundamentals with realistic assessment combined with newfound inspiration and ideas. Regardless, even if we had such a magic document to guide us, we must not rush into putting the cart before the horse. First comes solidarity.
As Jon Gordon and Daniel Decker say in their book, Stay Positive: "Through adversity, we have a choice. We can run away from each other or we can run towards each other. Remember: Connection breeds commitment." They further declare that "As a leader, your job is to SERVE, not be served. Your team needs to know you care. Serve their heart! Your team needs to improve. Serve their talent! Your team struggles with doubt. Serve their mind and spirit!"
Moreover, negativity never wins the day. As Gordon and Decker also admonish: "Don't let negativity win today! Remember it starts with YOU! If you are complaining, you are not leading. If you are leading, you are not complaining. One person can't make a team, but one person can BREAK a team. Stay positive."
Undeniably, we have it within ourselves to stay positive in these trying days and lead our way through this current crisis. Our goal is to manage our properties according to market-specific conditions and maintain well-functioning organizations, right now and for the longer term. All of our oars must pull in the same direction.
But what makes for a good leader? As Gordon and Decker suggest, being a good leader is more about positive attitudes than evoking rigid rules; more about making emotional connection with others over shouting out impersonal commands.