News for the Hospitality Executive
|Lessons from the Field
A Common Sense Approach to Success in the Hospitality Industry
|By Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE, June 27, 2008|
Principles for Success As a Hotel Manager
Part One: Understanding the Organization
|By Dr. John Hogan
July 9, 2008
Continuous learning drives everyone to find a better way, every day.
In our careers as hoteliers, we have all learned there are clear differences between “leaders” and “managers.” Leaders tend to be more inspirational and often have a vision of where they want to take their organization. The need for leaders is very clear – without their innovation and motivation, all industry and society itself would tend to be rather uninteresting and monotonous. One can look at industry giants from past generations such as Walt Disney, Lord Charles Forte, William Harrah, Conrad Hilton, Howard Johnson, Sol Kerzner, J W Marriott, Rai Bahadur M.S. Oberoi , Cesar Ritz, Ellsworth Statler, Juan Terry Trippe and Kemmons Wilson and recognize their leadership contributions in the evolution of the industry.
While these leaders set their vision in play, every one of them needed other people who could implement the vision through focus, effort and dedication. These people embraced the reality of that vision and primed it to be the success that it became. These people, usually titled “ Managers” are the ones often responsible for handling, directing, organizing, monitoring and delivering results through other people. Each of the above global leaders in hospitality had a group of managers who assisted them in immense ways to launch the vision and thereby change the industry.
This is a five part series that will address areas of concern and interest for today’s manager.
1. Recognize the “corporate culture” of your hotel or organization
2. Think like an owner
3. Launch and believe in the Mission and Business Plans
4. Innovate regularly and fairly
Successful managers innovate by solid communication throughout the organization about what they are trying to accomplish. If the occupancy is off, there will be a need to reduce payroll ,but there are so many creative ways to address this other than automatic layoffs or assigning people based only on seniority. Innovative managers will explain the situation to all staff and try to get their input on ways to reverse the drop. In earlier LESSONS FROM THE FIELD columns, I addressed this specific topic. All of our staff have lives outside of work and may very well be able to suggest and deliver ways to increase business.
5. Understand the reality of the markets – including mergers
The informed manager will be able to be successful in a merger or able to move to another position if the merger is not a logical fit for both parties. The key message here is “the informed manager” – just showing up every day will not lead to long term success.
6. Recognize the reality of politics
Successful managers deal with politics by being prudent, communicative, tactful, and knowledgeable in their work. This means a balance between anticipating what the organization will need with what you and your area may need. There are only so many resources available and those who are viewed as contributing to the company consistently are likely to be able to avoid the worst of negative politics.
7. Embrace time management and priority setting
Neither occupancy or average rate alone represent success today, but ignoring the benefits of building one or the other can quickly affect cash flow and potentially staff. Revenue Management strategies means examining the trends, the forecasts and the marketing mix and acting prudently.
8. Be 100% committed to quality – every day
Today’s successful hotel managers use the first seven points in this article to make their staff aware of what is important. Commitment to quality has to be part of everyone’s responsibility.
9. Learn something NEW every week
10. Work with Budgets and the bottom line
On a personal note, I discovered that I learned more about how to effectively manage hotels and watch cash flow in times of economic uncertainty than in good times.
I will be writing a specific column on this topic next month , but for today let me offer two quick observations on the bottom line:
Feel free to share an idea at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops or speaking engagements.
All rights reserved by John Hogan. This column may be included in an upcoming book on hotel management.
John Hogan’s professional experience includes over 35 years in hotel operations, food & beverage, sales & marketing, training, management development and asset management on both a single and multi-property basis. He holds a number of industry certifications and is a past recipient of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Pearson Award for Excellence in Lodging Journalism, as well as operational and marketing awards from international brands. He has served as President of both city and state hotel associations.
John’s background includes teaching college level courses as an adjunct professor at three different colleges and universities over a 20 year period, while managing with Sheraton, Hilton, Omni and independent hotels. He was the principal in an independent training & consulting group for more than 12 years serving associations, management groups, convention & visitors’ bureaus, academic institutions and as an expert witness. He joined Best Western International in spring of 2000, where over the next 8 years he created and developed a blended learning system as the Director of Education & Cultural Diversity for the world’s largest hotel chain.
He has served on several industry boards that deal with education and/or cultural diversity and as brand liaison to the NAACP and the Asian American Hotel Owners’ Association with his ongoing involvement in the Certified Hotel Owner program. He has conducted an estimated 3,100 workshops and seminars in his career. He served as senior vice president for a client in a specialty hotel brand for six years.
He has published more than 350 articles & columns on the hotel industry and is co-author (with Howard Feiertag, CHA CMP) of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD – a COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES, which is available from a range of industry sources and AMAZON.com. He resides in Phoenix, Arizona and is finalizing his 2nd book based on his dissertation – The Top 100 People of All Time Who Most Dramatically Affected the Hotel Industry.
Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE
|Also See:||Updating Hotel Marketing and Sales Strategies Mid Year NOW Is Essential / Dr. John Hogan / June 2008|
|Don’t Underestimate the Impact of the Hotel Sales Office / Dr. John Hogan / June 2008|
|Factors for Successful Interviewing Potential Hotel Sales Candidates / Dr. John Hogan / June 2008|
|The Importance of Meaningful Sales Team Job Descriptions / Dr. John Hogan / May 2008|
|For Hotels with Limited Service, Fewer than 100 Rooms - How Do You Determine if You Need a Person Dedicated to Selling / Dr. John Hogan / May 2008|
|Extending Your Sales Team or Make Travel Agents A Regular Part of Your Sales Programs / Dr. John Hogan / May 2008|
|Finding Business Leads Can Be Easier Than You Think / Dr. John Hogan / May 2008|
|Understanding the Differences Between Marketing and Sales / Dr. John Hogan / April 2008|
|Identifying Your Customers / Lessons from the Field A Common Sense Approach to Success in the Hospitality Industry / Dr. John Hogan / April 2008|