Leadership in Hospitality

Leadership in Hospitality

Why hospitality recovery demands leaders, not managers

“Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker.

What is the difference between a leader and a manager? The answer to that is vital in times of crisis, and that certainly applies to the hospitality industry in a post-pandemic, post-Brexit and economically austere landscape!

True leadership will be needed to recruit and retain staff, as well as to remodel businesses that have undergone unprecedented levels of pressure.

What are the characteristics of modern hospitality leaders?

Emotional intelligence

This has to be top of the list, as it’s the central principle that separates a manager from a leader.

A manager thinks in business terms. A leader understands themselves and their team and applies that knowledge to the business.

This hinges on knowing how to manage stress and change effectively. What can you do to keep your own mental health stable and to be an inspirational and supportive supervisor of staff? Also, how can you keep your workforce motivated and avoid conflicts, low morale and anxiety?

Shared vision

Another key difference is that leaders have a clear strategy for success and share that vision with their diverse and inclusive workforce.

This follows on from the above point, as to get through a crisis, you need to inspire people to trust you and believe better days are coming!

Solutions not shame

Modern leadership requires that you praise and incentivise your team frequently. This counterbalances the fact that around two-thirds of staff leave their posts as they feel under appreciated!

This also means avoiding the ‘blame and shame’ system of rectifying problems. When anything needs to be corrected, it should be a solutions-led approach.

Two-way communications

Another attribute that separates leaders in the hospitality sector is the way they reinforce good twoway communications. Many ideas for business improvement come from staff at the sharp end of the stick!

Also, if your team feel they can talk to you honestly and freely, they are far more likely to alert you to issues that can be quickly nipped in the bud.

Competence and warmth

Much of the above can be summed up by the concept of “competence and warmth”. According to behavioural scientists, these are the twin pillars of relationships that work best in all levels of business – peer to peer and management of staff.

Hospitality leadership in crisis requires that you are firm, decisive and in control of your own emotional responses to situations, with a transparent business development plan. However, you also need to be approachable, accessible, and supportive at all times.

At JWR, we practice what we preach, and consider ourselves contemporary leaders in hospitality recruitment. For more information, get in touch with our team today.