Case Study: Leadership in the Hospitality Industry

Case Study from Alina Serban. Alina is the Cluster Learning & Development Manager at W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island / Courtyard by Marriott World Trade Centre, Abu Dhabi. You can connect with Alina here:

Being part of Marriott international for almost 19 years, I have had the privilege and the honor to impact over 400 newly appointed supervisors and managers, helping them grow their skills and pave their way of becoming great future leaders.

The hotel industry allows for personal and professional growth. Gaining managerial skills is a crucial part of becoming a great leader, as you do not press a button and become one overnight. Acquiring skills, like communication, effective interviewing, coaching, developing others and building top-performing teams, is hard work and requires focus, persistence, and a lot of patience.

Besides the leadership competencies (adaptability, communication & professional demeanour, vision & values, problem solving & decision making), leaders these days require a human set of skills usually referred to as the “people side of the business.” It is these people skills or essential skills that is required to take care of associates.

As JW Marriott Jr once said “…the true test of company is the kind of manager it turns out”.

Today, organizations are under pressure due to the evolutionary and revolutionary changes in markets, technology, culture and the workforce dynamics. These are some of the obstacles faced by even the most experienced leaders. We are moving from authority to trust, from hierarchy to networking, and from power to self-awareness. So, I believe that while in the past leaders had to learn how to accept change, today’s leaders have to know how to orchestrate the most efficient change that will ensure organizational evolution. Staying in touch with the company core values, maintaining a culture of innovation, and learning how to make the most of resources during a change is the key to success.

As leadership has evolved, so has the needs of the employees. Nowadays, employees have the urge to be empowered at their workplace and not be micromanaged by their leader. By giving employees trust and empowerment, their work performance will exceed accordingly because people strive to make an impact and be recognized. Another important factor for leaders to bear in mind is that employees want to be treated fairly and want solutions that work for everyone- transparency and integrity will help gain trust.

Combining contemporary leadership principles with proven strategies for developing mental competency, physical endurance and health is the foundation of a powerful tool for developing a new generation of effective strong leaders that our new workforce is demanding.

Editor-In-Chief of Bizpreneur Middle East