Important Hospitality Leadership Skills in 2018
By Robert A. Rauch, CHA, President of RAR Hospitality
What will leadership look like this year? It's not always the same each year; Yes, leadership books might provide the same basics of leadership skills and yes, leading by example is a great foundation, but today I am exploring the combination of mentoring, coaching, leading and managing in 2018.
I usually need a trigger to pen something like this–my favorite work subjects are typically technology changes, economic forecasts, strategy, marketing or management. But I had a great trigger, a wonderful vacation that served to rejuvenate my thinking, improve my mindset and hone my workouts.
It also allowed me to read three novels and three non-fiction, leadership books. It served to provide a foundation for my 2018 and I hope you gain at least one insight in my attempt to help your outlook on 2018 as well. If you do not gain any new information, at the minimum, please stop for a moment and appreciate what we have. We are blessed to be part of a noble profession that allows our guests to travel comfortably and our team members to make a living.
I started vacation with the book, Thrive by Arianna Huffington. She had a great passage that read, "when you are rested and focused, what's coming next appears to slow down, allowing us to manage it with calm and confidence." After all that occurred in 2017, I felt that passage was particularly appropriate for hospitality leaders. We have lived through crises, many of them life threatening this past year.
As I sat on a panel at the American Hotel & Lodging Association conference in New York this past November, I realized how talented and prepared many of my colleagues are. But according to Laurence Gonzalez in his book Deep Survival: Who lives, who dies and why? "only 10 percent of us stay calm and focused during a crisis. The other 90 percent will panic." Based on this, I am committed to providing leadership and resources to our team in this critical area in 2018.
One way for me to do that will be to remain mindful and appreciative of every single day! I noticed this past year was marked with far too many moments of stress, moments where I became more of a work machine than a mentoring or coaching resource. As leaders, it is our duty and privilege to serve our team members in these capacities.
In addition to planning a more restful and focused approach to life, I plan more strategic delegation to key, up and coming leaders, more "no" answers to requests on my time where my presence may not make a material difference and a laser focus on a successful 2018 for our team members (lots of mentoring, coaching, leading), guests, capital partners and owners.
I'm saving the other leadership books I finished last month for deeper discussions down the road, including the use of meditation. But I did read a great piece called "The Business of Being Well," written by Local Measure, a customer management solutions platform. It featured some hotel industry senior leaders (Chris Nassetta, Hilton and Keith Barr, IHG) and was very well done. In it, the big three wellness categories jumped out—fitness, nutrition and sleep. Coupled with mindfulness, I believe wellness can get all of us back on track if we derailed a bit in 2017.
President Harry S. Truman once said, "not all readers are leaders but all leaders are readers." May all of you read and lead in 2018 and enjoy a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
Robert A. Rauch
R. A. Rauch & Associates, Inc.