Over the years I have been involved and lead a number of successful business ventures, however have always been conscious of recognising the team that have assisted along the way. While a manager or business leader should be proud of the part they have played, they cannot afford to ignore the part their greater team has played.
I often say in my line of work (hotel management) that the housekeeping team are the most important component of the overall business. They clean the accommodation rooms, prepare rooms for the next guest, restock that convenient in room minibar and provide that friendly turn down service prior to a guest retiring for the evening.
Each and every person who is employed by a business plays a vital, integral and special part in the overall delivery of service or business offering
Some may think that hotel housekeepers are "just cleaners", however they hold one of the most physical and important positions in a hotel. They are the team members that prepare that comfortable bed we sleep in, puff that pillow, removing every crease in the bedspread, they ensure the room is clean, tidy, fresh and presentable. They keep the hotel entry clean, the stainless walls in an elevator and the brass handles on the entry door shiny, the grout in the shower white and not to mention shining your shoes, wiping down the treadmill - housekeeping plays an important part in almost every operational part of a hotel.
Now you're probably wondering why I mentioned housekeeping?
Housekeeping is fairly much where it all starts in a hotel! The rest of the team are the components that make the engine run. Housekeeping are the oil that keep the engine running, a good leader is the fuel injector and the combined team make the spark plugs ignite with the overall service offering and sales pitch.
My point here is that every successful leader acknowledges that they are a part of their team, they don't ask their team to do anything that they haven't done themselves and if they do, it is probable that they wont gain full buy-in or engagement of all team members.
A good leader will be a few steps in front of their team, however will take a few steps backward when required to ensure the team are on track to follow in the steps they have already taken.
The world is run by leaders and people follow them, however you may find that some of the most successful business leaders, have those around them in sync with them...
A leader is a person who has a vision, a drive and a commitment to achieve that vision and the skills to make it happen. They are a person who guides others toward a common goal, leading the way by example and creating an environment in which other team members feel actively engaged in the entire process. Most importantly; a leader is not the boss of the team, instead, the person that is committed to carrying out (leading) an engaged team towards the mission, vision and values of the organisation, in essence they are in sync with their team...
The compass or direction of a business is ultimately set by a leader however if placed beside a magnet can take the business in a different direction, much like a team that has become disengaged.
So what makes a good leader?
Includes the team and empowers team members
And most importantly: They recognise their team
As a successful businessperson and currently manager of a multi award-winning 5 star international hotel, I have found that a fully engaged team delivers optimal results in service offering. A team who feels they are listened to by a focussed manager who is organised, has time available to spend time with their team (rolls up sleeves and assist in times of need), is decisive, confident and most importantly recognises their team for the successes they achieve, no matter how small or big or small.
A good manager is a leader who crawls, walks, runs and then celebrates the success with their engaged team. Developing an engaged team is key to ongoing success in any business.
My team were recently recognised within our company as the most engaged team in Australasia, we continue to be a multi-award winning international hotel! Housekeeping have been best in Asia Pacific two years running and the hotel #1 Asia Pacific in our brand awards 2010/11! The team are engaged in the success of our business.
About the Author
Clinton Farley runs a multi-award winning 5 star hotel in regional New Zealand and has over 15-years industry experience. Most recently named a finalist for the New Zealand Tourism Awards, PATA Young tourism Entrepreneur of the year 2012.