What a rocky ride we in Hospitality have witnessed in the past several years. The terminus may be in sight, but we still face a number of numbing curves and dark tunnels in front of us. Many just let circumstances overwhelm them, and those businesses alongside this track to recovery are now empty, shuttered, desolate. Others, at various junctions, are on solid footing, perhaps not in their glory, but certainly holding on and improving with each day. Much of that success or perhaps just grit has been directed by a resilient spirit of leadership - the ability to inspire, plan and execute through and with others an ethos which not only succeeds but also prospers.
The word resilient would probably not be on the list of characteristics of a Hospitality leader who has only known success. Here we would extol the vision, the drive, even the ruthlessness to achieve. No, these are different times and require a different skill set.
The model first starts with good communication skills and honesty. People need to know the score and what is required to move forward. This is a team effort and you cannot "gild the lily" or keep your most important asset (your people) in the dark. This is also a time for some humility, for one-way dialogue will almost certainly curtail any momentum.
We believe, because we trust the leadership, particularly if they have been candid with us and encouraged our participation (actually ownership) to make those difficult decisions and tackle the obstacles. Together, we either sink or swim. Roadblocks we crush; achievement we herald.
Leadership also needs to be bold, visible and adaptive. Old answers do not always apply to new challenges. A good part of that audacious spirit is the strength to always be proud, prepared to try a new tack, seek new ideas and be innovative.
The most obvious example of a resilient leader would be Winston Churchill. Walls may not be crumbling down in our Hospitality businesses, but we sometimes feel as if those business bombs and straffings are insufferable. Churchill rallied a Nation through steadfast direction and encouragement. He also tapped in to his countrymen's resolve, just as we can with our employees. His energy seemed to be inexhaustible, and leaders today need to reflect that, as well.
So, the key ingredients for a resilient leader are: solid communications, a plan to organize effort and recognize results, employee engagement, willingness to adapt and be innovative, honesty all along the path, and lastly, personal energy and encouragement.
Permission for reprint provided by John Hendrie and credited to LRA Worldwide Inc.
About LRA Worldwide, Inc:
LRA Worldwide is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability.
In LRA's 25-year history, we have grown from a provider of customized quality assurance evaluation programs for the hospitality industry, to a leading CEM consulting company offering a variety of client solutions. The evolution has been driven by our clients asking us one question - "How do we get better?" In response, we have built a range of performance measurement, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so. Today, we are a growing company operating in more than 120 countries throughout the world, helping clients deliver exceptional customer experiences. Every touch. Every time. For more information, visit us at www.LRAworldwide.com.
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