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Are You an Ostrich or a Llama?
By Larry Mogelonsky, MBA, P. Eng.
When the average person thinks of an ostrich, he or she probably visualizes a large bird, with its “head in the sand.” In fact, an alternate dictionary meaning for an ostrich is “someone who ignores unpleasant things.” But what of the venerable llama? This South American pack animal is mostly known for its wool, but it is also sure-footed, reliable, patient, and actually quite friendly.
In a way, these two animals serve to represent distinct approaches to our profession. Let’s examine the character traits that are most likely to be associated with each of these. In doing so, I ask the question: “Are you an ostrich or a llama?” To see which moniker best suits your management style, answer the following questions about the way you conduct your business.
Scoring is simple: gain one point for each “Llama” statement you agree to; subtract one point for each “Ostrich” statement you agree to. OK, half points either way are allowed too. No cheating, though: neither animal is known for this rather human characteristic!
Consider Yourself More of a Llama If:
Consider Yourself More of an Ostrich If:
Your Results Count
It is rare for anyone to get a result of +15 or more. If you do, consider yourself an enlightened GM, well ahead of your peer group.
A score of +8 to +14 shows that you have good promise, and recognizes your determination to improve.
If you score below +7, remedial development action may be needed. Seek help from a coach; take some courses in the Professional Development Program at the Cornell Hotel School; or pick up some additional literature in our field.
The world needs both good and great GM’s. There are ample ways to further your career successfully. Ostriches make good zoo animals and (according to many hotel chefs) great steaks. For the path to enlightened management, however, follow the Llama!
About Larry Mogelonsky
Larry Mogelonsky (email@example.com) is the president and founder of LMA Communications Inc. (www.lma.ca), an award-winning, full service communications agency focused on the hospitality industry (est. 1991). Larry is also the developer of Inn at a Glance hospitality software. As a recognized expert in marketing services, his experience encompasses Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and Preferred Hotels & Resorts, as well as numerous independent properties throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Larry is a registered professional engineer, and received his MBA from McMaster University.
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