5 Success Factors in Becoming a Top Hotel Manager
By Dr. Lily Lin, Author of "Interviewing Successful Hotel Managers"
pattern emerging. Successful hotel managers don't become successful because of their wishful thinking or pure luck! Occasionally, one maybe lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time; but if one is not able to take the given opportunity and make it successful, no amount of luck will help. What makes an individual a successful hotel manager? There are five factors that all successful top hoteliers possess:
- Passion can be discovered but it cannot be taught! No matter how hard you try to dig within, if you don't seem to be able to build up the passion for your chosen field, the hospitality business, you are in the wrong field. Find something else you feel passionate about — the sooner the better!
Talent & Creativity
- Passion without talent and creativity is like owning a beautiful piece of fabric but having no idea how to turn it into a fantastic evening gown! It is the talent and creativity that differentiate a potentially mediocre hotel manager from a potentially top one.
Hard Work & Willingness to Make Necessary Sacrifices
- People often talk about the desire of balancing their business life and their private life. The truth is, being in the hotel business means that guest and employee demands come in all hours of the day. If one is not willing or able to make the necessary sacrifices, especially during the initial stage of one's career, one should not expect to climb to the top of the corporate ladder. Being able to reach a balanced life while holding down a responsible position in the hotel industry is a Shangri-la (I don't mean the Hotels) that exists mostly in fairytales. Personally, I don't know anyone who has refused to make significant personal sacrifices find their way to the top.
Willingness to Take Risks
- Successful hoteliers are willing to take certain risks and show that they are able to go through a number of challenging steps and overcome whatever obstacles are thrown in front of them. In fact, all of the general managers I've interviewed have been an "opening GM" at least once. Being an opening GM for a brand new hotel is one of the most challenging tasks a hotel manager could face. Heroic acts and war stories abound among those general managers who have, at some point, been given the opportunity to be the opening GM of a major brand hotel. In fact, once an individual has been able to successfully complete his assignment as an opening GM, he has proven to his employer without a shadow of doubt that he has the abilities and skills to work with the investors/owners, lead a team of employees, and oversee multiple aspects of hotel operations within a strict timetable. His prospects of taking over a major brand hotel in a big city or even a company's flagship hotel increase dramatically. He becomes a valuable asset to his company and to the owner of the hotel.
Leadership Ability & Interpersonal Relationship
- A successful hotelier is, on the one hand, a sympathetic listener and problem-solver for his team of employees as well as a charming and friendly host for his guests. On the other hand, he is a leader with a clear vision and a determination tough as nails! He does not tolerate mediocrity or right out laziness, and most of them do not mince their words about it either!
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