"Leadership Through Crisis" With Alphy Johnson - the 1992 Los Angeles Riots and the 1989 San Francisco Earthquake
Learn from Other Leaders That Have Experienced Similar Situations in the Past: What Should You Do in Times of Riots and Civil Unrest to Keep Your Guests and Staff Safe?
The lodging industry and hospitality sector as a whole is already grappling with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic aftermath. The US alone registered 1.89 million confirmed cases with over 100,000 deaths. The lockdown measures, the declining travel, tourism and leisure have led companies to furlough or fire their staff. The unemployment rate in the country rose to 14.7% this last month alone.
Meanwhile, recent events have also led to massive protests and riots across the US: Aiming to reform police practices, a rallying cry for anti-racism evokes the memory of the 1992 Rodney King riots, that occurred in Los Angeles, where a state of emergency had been called.
Amidst all of these occurrences, hospitality leaders seek guidance, advice and inspiration, on how to react in similar situations. In our podcast " HoCoSo - The CONVERSATION ", Jonathan Humphries, Chairman of HoCoSo speaks to Alphy Johnson, a legend in the hospitality industry and currently president of International Hospitality Advisor.
Alphy has had an incredible career. During this time of crisis we are currently facing ourselves, we look to others for inspiration. Although we've never had the kind of situation the Covid-19 pandemic had brought on us, for many of our leaders, and many of us as industry professionals, the opportunity to have a conversation with Alphy about some of the crisis that he has faced in his career is invaluable.
In this podcast, Jonathan talks to Alphy about his time during the San Francisco earthquakes and the Los Angeles riots. They are two events that are marked in history as major crises, they didn't last a significant amount of time but they had significant impact on the community, the city, and the tourism sector in a way that it took time for these markets to recover and for the people to recover.
At the time when leadership was all around command and control, charisma and being on stage, and selling a message, his management and leadership style now seems extremely relevant and was not in tune with the typical leadership styles of the time. Yet he was (and still is) highly regarded, highly respected by his colleagues, his friends and his community.
During the 1992 Los Angeles riots mentioned above, he was General Manager of the newly opened Hotel Nikko in Beverly Hills. In his conversation, he describes how the hotel had been affected and how dangerous the situation was. He then reveals which safety measures were taken at that moment to ensure his guests' and staff's safety, but also comfort. While long-lasting relationships are essential for when it comes to such circumstances, it is also important to maintain a sound mind and not get carried away by fear and emotions.
Listen to the full episode, which represents Part 1 of the trilogy on "Leadership through crisis" with Mr. Alphy Johnson. Visit hocoso.com/conversation/