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Leadership for Growth: It’s Time to Grow

publication date: Nov 22, 2011
author/source: Conor Kenny

Leadership for Growth: It’s Time to Grow

Not all investment into a business need be financial; you could also invest in leadership for growth. Columnist Conor Kenny from Conor Kenny and Associates considers leadership for growth in the hotel industry.

You can only worry, be negative and stay down for so long. After that you have two choices: grow or die. It’s time to grow; the alternative is not much fun.

A Business is just like a garden; there’s no difference. It has seasons and it ebbs and flows like nature itself. You have to mind it, watch it and nurture it. You have to drive it on, plant new things and cut back. You have to invest, take risks and see what works.

You might even use a guide book but it won’t quite match the DNA of your unique garden.

For the last four years we have had the pruning tools out. That was then, this is now. Just like your garden, there is a time to drop the shears and begin to fertilise, nurture and plant.

Leadership for Growth

The purpose of business is to create customers. Without customers and guests there is no conversation. People are at the core of everything and to ignore them is to begin the sounding of the death knell.

Yes, sure, hotels have been pretty good with being guest focused and investing in their creature comforts. Sadly, that has not been true of training, inspiring, teaching and motivating. That has consequences.

You may end up with a gold plated temple, but if the guys on stage have not been trained then it’s bound to be a pretty awful show.

People … Not Money!

Money can be the curse of a business. It’s easy to solve a problem with a cheque book but far more creative and enduring to solve it through your people.

Every day we work with hotel teams and we set them the challenge of solving guest-centred problems. Sounds easy? It is until we apply these rules. They have to be low or no cost. They have to challenge the norm. They have to have a high impact on the guest and it has to make everyone smile. That eliminates cheque books and easy ideas. It works, we know, try it. We call it “The Ideas Factory” and you should too.

Good hotel managers need to do three things as we emerge from the darkness:

  1. They have to invest in their people. That means time must be allocated and importance must be placed.
  2. They must listen … and listen with care.
  3. Finally, they must be there. After all, a ship always has a captain on the bridge and what do you think he spends most of his time doing?

If your staff doesn’t love their job they certainly won’t love your guest. If that’s the case, your business will do a pretty good job at giving the impression your hotel hates customers.

Time for Change

So what needs to change? Managers need to avoid being macho and charging their way through everything. They need to create an atmosphere of enthusiasm because compulsion doesn’t work. You need to be tough but fair – and you need to understand that people never resist change; they resist loss.

To quote from Ivor Kenny’s bestselling book ‘Can You Manage’:

The essence of strategy is to build an arsenal of capabilities to meet whatever the future throws at us

That includes listening to your team, involving them, giving them their head and, most importantly, trusting them to do a better job than you.

If they don’t aspire to that – and – if you don’t let them, one thing is for sure: they won’t be with you much longer and your competitor will benefit from your failure.

Leadership for Growth: It’s Time to Grow
Conor Kenny On Leadership for Growth

About Conor Kenny and Associates: Conor Kenny and Associates are experts in sales, marketing, sales training and people development. They help you to get the most out of your people and your business. As skilled marketing consultants and experienced experts in innovation, sales, marketing and communications, they know that you and your people have skills too. Companies don’t innovate. People

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