If the industry has great leaders – why is it struggling to find new ones?

If the industry has great leaders – and it does – why is it struggling to find new leaders?

In EP’s recent Leadership Lecture, David Morgan-Hewitt, Managing Director of The Goring made two thought provoking observations:

“There is little anyone can teach a great General Manager about leadership”

“Too many leaders today manage. One can argue that some of our best leaders are chefs as they possess a vision for what they are creating that inspires others.”

Both comments were spot on.

The industry does have a list of exceptional leaders.  Many of the leading hoteliers have the experience and understanding that shows that leadership skills are alive and kicking. However David’s second point is also valid in that too many leaders are spending their time managing rather than leading.

It ties in with other work we are completing within businesses as work cultures today are less adventurous and more focused on the bottom line, systems and are unrelenting in the pressure.  Many COO’s and CEO’s privately note that their only role is to deliver shareholder value and that enjoyment of the role is pretty low. Well, if CEOs are not enjoying their roles, then it is unlikely that the work environment will be strong.

It is an interesting contradiction as one can argue this is an age of innovation. It is true, we have seen so many exciting concepts and businesses from entrepreneurs – but many have opted out of corporate life to be able to deliver something that they value.

Somehow we need to encourage the emerging talent to be brave and take time to reflect and inspire people and teams within the larger companies too.

As we work with both, we argue that the gap between corporates and entrepreneurs has never been greater. It is almost like two universes operating next to each other but gradually growing apart. However we need both to be strong and the link will be talent.

The world will reach a point when every company will be similar in terms of their digital offer. People will be the one major differential and in Hospitality this will be fundamental to success.

So there is work to be done.