Strengthening the Leadership Bench
By Bill Catlette Co-Founder, Contented Cow Partners, LLC | March 08, 2015
It's All About Leadership
A 2013 global C-suite study by the IBM Institute for Business Value suggests that, by a pretty wide margin, the top two concerns of Chief Human Resource Officers are 1) talent development and 2) employee engagement and commitment, outcomes that are influenced more (much more) by the quality of leadership at a person-to-person level, than organizational attraction. The operative precept here is that our employees don't always get to choose the manager they report to, but they choose daily which ones they're going to come back tomorrow and exert real effort for.
Getting and keeping the right people, and keeping them adequately skilled, motivated, and focused isn't easy even in the best of times. It's especially difficult now. As happens in every economic downturn, focus on talent management during the Great Recession took a distant back seat to other things. As a result, now that we've got the wind blowing a little more at our backs, industry leaders, who themselves have been under-developed and run ragged, are trying to deliver five star performance for more guests (with greater expectations) via a workforce that is largely disenfranchised, if not distracted by the task of looking for other work, and oh by the way, in many cases has never seen good service.
Citing Disney, Starbucks and Apple as business performance exemplars, Harvard University lecturer and former Medtronic CEO, Bill George said recently on CNBC, "If you get the right leader, you get great results." Truer words were never spoken, and as we survey the challenges facing hoteliers (indeed the entire hospitality space), the need to strengthen the leadership pipeline and bench have never been more evident.
That is especially the case as pertains to leadership development, which, for many, has been too much of a DIY proposition, with much of the learning content supplied by watching The Apprentice on television. We can and must do better.
It's Every Leader's Job to Build the Leadership Pipeline