Here?s how can be a better leader, or craft one for your hotel.
Former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley once defined leadership as ?unlocking people?s potential to become better.?
Had he not been a Princeton-educated Rhodes Scholar, star NBA player with the New York Knicks and Democratic contender for president of the U.S., Bradley would have been an excellent resort/hotel general manager. He understands leadership.
From a broad perspective, a hotel GM?s job hasn?t changed much over the years. The job is to lead the property?s staff and make sure the hotel?s daily operations run efficiently. Drill down a bit, however, and it?s much more complex, thanks in large parts to today?s technology and social media.
?The role has always been about communication, but the ways we communicate continues to evolve,? said Jim Mills, general manager of the Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa in Houston. ?I spend a lot more time doing emails than I ever thought I would.?
As GM of the Houstonian, Mills sees his role as being the communications bridge between the property?s members, guests, and staff and ownership.
?We actually talk about that a lot ? balance being our guiding principle,? Mills said. ?You have to make good decisions about meeting the needs of each of those groups. I have to try to navigate that and set some parameters that answers the needs of each of those groups and allows the business to be sustainable.
?A lot of times it comes down to resource allocation, whether it?s going out and getting the correct resources or moving obstacles so people can get results that the business needs. Sometimes you?re a salesman and sometimes you?re trying to hold the team ? and guests – accountable. Sometimes you have to tell guests they?re not acting properly. That?s very important because you want your team to understand it?s about walking the walk and not talking the talk.?
Abdullah Vural, general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch in Avon, Colo., agrees that balance is key.
?Ownerships are more and more involved in the day-to-day operation of properties like ours and you want to make sure you are representing them without sacrificing brand standards,? Vural said. ?The most important skill of being a GM, however, is that you have to be a great leader. You have such a diversity of employees working for you with different backgrounds, different ages, different needs and you have to find a good way to ‘lead’ them individually and as a team.?
Very few responsibilities of a GM, Mills said, are that individual?s alone.
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