By HOTELS Editors on 8/16/2010|
Author, executive and motivational speaker Peter Burwash spends about two-thirds of the year staying in hotels and traveling around the world. Over 35 years, he has spoken with thousands of hotel employees, discussing what they like and dislike about their general manager and working at the hotel in general.
Many of these conversations were an important source of information for his book, The Key To Great Leadership, in which the 25 qualities necessary to be an outstanding leader are outlined. Here are his top five qualities that hotel employees prefer to see in the leadership style of their general manager.
Visibility. In Tom Peter's best-selling book, In Search of Excellence, about outstanding companies, one of the concepts Burwash highlighted was “Management By Wandering Around” or MBWA. Burwash adds an “I” to the end—Management By Wandering Around and Interacting (MBWAI). Employees want to know that their general manager cares about them and comes around to their work area. Yet a majority of employees tell Burwash that they hardly ever see their general manager.
Loyalty. Burwash is a strong believer that loyalty is a two-way street. If a prospective employee came in for an interview and said, “I am looking to stay here for about five weeks,” they would have no chance at getting the job, yet an employer will not hesitate to terminate someone less than a month after hiring them. Employers today complain about the high turnover, but part of the reason is a lack of loyalty from management.
Respect. Hunter Hansen, general manager of Naples Grande Resort & Spa, made one of the best statements Burwash has ever heard on the issue of “respect.” He said—speaking of the hospitality industry—“We are friends serving friends.” General managers cannot necessarily always be friends with their employees, but what employees want is to feel respect both for...