One of the incredible things about the hospitality industry is that teamwork is truly at the center of our success. No one person can succeed on his or her own be it in hotel operations, acquisitions, dispositions, procurement, or any other branch of our wide and varied industry. And to motivate a team, one needs to understand how to lead in a way that achieves the most effective results. Throughout our careers we tend to witness four different types of leadership styles, leadership through fear, leadership through being liked, leadership through not leading, and leadership through respect. A bit more on each:
Leadership through fear is that boss who yells, screams, demeans, and fails to thank his or her team. This type of leadership can be effective in achieving results in the short-term but in the long-term, it is detrimental to the team. There is a lack of respect for this type of leader who would not accept being managed in the same fashion. People tend to remove themselves from these types of bosses as soon as possible. They do not motivate, rather, they tend to infuriate. They believe that they could have done the work on their own. Anyone who has worked under a boss like this understands that these are not leaders. But they can be good motivators to seek other opportunities. Always look for a bright side!
Leadership through being liked is the boss who wants to be everyone’s friend. This is the one who arbitrarily makes decisions based on what he or she believes will be the most popular opinion, not necessarily the best decision for the organization. Team members quickly learn how to garner favor by manipulating this type of manager and end up getting their way because the manager does not want to be perceived as unpopular. Unfortunately, this style of leadership leads to ineffective decision making because personal opinions are more important than the needs of the organization. While team members may be happy, the team may not be working in the best interests of the organization.
Leadership through not leading is when the boss either cannot make decisions or allows the team to do whatever it wants. These situations quickly devolve for an organization because everyone is working on whatever he or she seems to be important without any concern for what may be best for the team or for the organization as a whole. Team members can become lost, lose motivation, and the organization becomes stagnant. People tend to be most effective when they have a sense of structure and leaders who don’t lead provide an opportunity for chaos to reign supreme.
Leadership through respect is the boss who is not a boss but rather an effective leader. These leaders recognize that there is a job to get done and that every member of the team has an important role to play. Decisions need to be made and while they may not be popular, the decisions balance the needs of individual team members with the needs of the team and the organization. These leaders get to know each team member, learn how to motivate them, and they are not afraid to get their hands dirty. It is likely that there are times when these leaders will not be liked because of their decisions but they consistently earn the respect of their team. These are the most effective types of leaders for any team or organization.
This last style of leadership is what is utilized throughout our organization. Be it corporate executives, managers on property, or line level supervisors, earning the respect of the team is what is most effective for the company, each hotel, and individual team member growth. At a recent hotel opening corporate executives pitched in to get the property ready including cleaning bathrooms, making beds, sweeping floors, and taking out garbage. Leadership through respect provides the optimal balance for a team and results in success at every level of the organization.