News for the Hospitality Executive
Adapting Leadership Lessons from the 20th Century's
Greatest Team Winner - Bill Russell
by John Hogan, June 4, 2010
The title of this column also represents a new 2010 workshop as well, and it addresses a fundamental approach to achieving success.
This is not a message on sports, but on how the individual can move the entire hospitality organization to long-term success with innovation, leadership and strategic goals. Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics defined the passion for winning through teamwork and focus. In 2001, Russell and co-author David Faulkner united to produce an interesting series of insights of the fundamentals that molded Russell's competitive aptitude and zeal into a series of consistent winning seasons.
The book, Russell Rules: 11 Lessons on Leadership From the Twentieth Century's Greatest Winner is a collection of basketball and personal examples from Russell's career. The balance between sports, business and personal integrity is clear, easy to follow and is genuinely interesting, whether one likes sports or not. The lessons address commitment, team decision processes, accountability, change, discipline, the need for the desire to win and a number of “how-to business examples.”
This column identifies three of those lessons and how they apply to hospitality.
The hospitality industry has tremendous potential for success, as well as incredible pressure. A hotel that is open 365 days per year for 24 hours a day requires dedicated staff that is committed to providing courteous service and comfortable accommodations.
The need for that staff introduces Key Learning Result #1: The Value of the “Sixth Man” in Hospitality and any Business. Every business has a range of personalities, with varying competencies, skill sets and unique value that they bring to the workplace. If trained properly and empowered to meet the needs of their guests, most hospitality professionals will step up to the demands and work to exceed the expectations of their guests. The concept of the “sixth man” of the Celtics was introduced as the equivalent of another starter in the game. This person could likely play several positions and was regularly used to help his team battle the opposition. In our business, cross-training people provides them the opportunity to learn additional skills and to be able to contribute to the needs of the hotel, fellow associates, guests and ownership. It allows them to become more valuable individually, while at the same time strengthening the team of the whole. Providing service for 365 days per year and 24 hours a day requires as much focus and assistance as possible.
Key Learning Result #2: Discipline, Delegation, and Decision Making
Most hospitality businesses have organizational charts that outline a “chain of command”. Russell’s stories and examples focus on the need for organizational structure, but he stresses the discipline as everyone believing in the choices being made as helping to move towards the agreed-upon common goals. As in Key Learning Result #1, it requires trust and confidence in individuals who may not have a certain title or degree or experience. If the common goal is to operate a profitable and successful hospitality business by serving guests in special ways they appreciate, the entire team needs to know the goals, understand the protocols and business practices and be part of the effective delivery of the service.
Key Learning Result #3: The Celtic Mystique or Making
Celtic Pride Work for You
In our business, turnover is usually rather high, yet I know of certain hospitality companies who have built traditions of success and loyalty of both staff and guests through their sense of culture. That culture is about developing meaningful relationships, supporting the community and collaboration among the team members.
Fundamental Keys to Success in Hospitality
I have found that there are four fundamentals in successfully operating hotels. They are intertwined and dependent on each other. Specifically, the first three properly delivered result in the fourth:
1. Hotel Marketing
Delivering effective marketing, efficient operations and exceptional
service will lead to extraordinary profitability over an extended period.
What Leadership Lessons are you Sharing with Your Team today?
KEYS TO SUCCESS is the umbrella title for my new 2010 programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings will focus on a wide variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my "HOW TO" articles and HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS. My segments Lessons from the Field, Hotel Common Sense and Principles for Success will be featured at appropriate times in the year as well.
Feel free to share an idea for a column at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements ………….
And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.
Autographed copies of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD – a COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES are available from THE ROOMS CHRONICLE www.roomschronicle.com, www.smartbizzonline.com and other industry sources.
All rights reserved by John Hogan and this column may be included in an upcoming book on hotel management. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication
John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. http://www.linkedin.com/in/drjohnhoganchache.
Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE
|Also See:||How to Find the Right Manager to Effectively Lead Your Hotel / Dr John Hogan / May 2010|