Every day we ask our property leaders to take the reigns in hand and guide our hotels to be successful, profitable, and efficient. In this fast-moving world we needed to not only use our historical knowledge, but adapt to the ever changing world. You need to be flexible, tolerant and think outside the box to establish uniqueness.
There are many new tools in the leadership toolbox and we need to make sure that we are using all of them effectively. This means embracing technology, recognizing the importance of trust, and establishing long-term relationships. Competitiveness should breed leaders with new ideas, who are willing to take risks, inspire, motivate, and those who are willing to look for and establish strategic partnerships. You must add both scientific and social based skills to your repertoire.
Here is the first tool you should add to your toolbox:
Be Unique – Stand Out In The Crowd of Sameness
“Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is specifically your own.” ~ Bruce Lee
How many hotels do you compete with in your market? My guess is that there are at least 5, but it’s probably more like 25. We all have guest rooms, we all provide good customer service, we all have similar amenities. We all have people that go out to “look” for business (hopefully).
- To stand out – you must be original and and consistent. Being original takes time and persistence. It also takes hard work and a focused commitment by you and your staff. Here are a few tips to think about:
- Have an original perspective that inspires people.* (Sound familiar?) Your hotel/brand has invested many dollars to develop culture, demographic research, and sound business practices. Have you embraced these strategies? Are you weaving your property identity into everything you do? Do people know what you represent as both a person and a company?
- Apply knowledge from one area to another or synthesize ideas from different disciplines.* This is better known as cross-training, mentorship and/or book learning. Do you consistently read, search for training, or try to grow your skills? I know it takes time…. but time invested is time well spent. I have said to many of you on many different occasions….. “I try to learn something new every day. It doesn’t have to be life-changing…. it just has to make me a better leader, a better person, or add to my skill-set.”
- Tell a different story about the material. Relate it to your own life and work experiences.* This is putting yourself in your customer’s shoes…. what would you need from you if you were the customer? Identify several ways to make the same pitch. Every person, every relationship is different and you must (in a few short moments) understand how to make that pitch and/or change courses.
- Trim the fat off of a theory or operational system. Add new elements that improve.* Apply the KISS principle. Know how long to engage a customer before you lose their interest. Be consistent. Be familiar. Be approachable. Reach out to your customers in different ways and at different times. You should be in front of your Top 30 customers at least 4 times a year. How many times are you going to again call and say, “just reaching out and see how things are at ABC Company.” Boring! Be unique – have a roadmap. Be seasonal. Be creative. Be clever. Be unique.
Happy Coloring Outside the Lines!
*Five Essential Skills for Leadership in the 21st Century, from The Mindful Self-Express by Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D. as excerpted from Psychology Today.