The need to develop leaders of tomorrow

The aim: to change people’s thinking around leadership.

Through real inputs and discussion, we are developing an agenda for the industry and beyond.

So much is written about leadership and so much of it is misleading and off the mark. Much is talked about vision, about charisma, about ideals, conviction and values; about intellectual understanding of the market. The truth is that leadership requires something far more grounded and yet more important.

Here are some facts:

  • Digitalisation will be at its peak: by 2022 world’s first fully automated and robot-served hotel will open (The Future of Work, PWC)
  • Millennials spend 24 hours a week on their smartphone (Ipsos Mori).
  • It is reported that Millennials are three times more likely than other generations to reference social media networks when making purchase decisions, however personal values have the greatest influence on Millennials’ decision making at work (Deloitte)
  • In the UK there is a growing number of apps helping people to meditate. One of the most popular is now worth $250 million.
  • Organisations will have to balance the needs and requirements of four generations.

It is often debated as to whether leadership can be taught or whether it is a trait that lies inherent within some rather than others.

The truth is that leadership can be taught but it requires a mind-set, a belief in something bigger than the individual’s own gain.  Of course, vision is an important trait as is conviction, ideals and charisma but the great truth is that many of the real leaders in life possess a trait greater than these – a belief in the team, a belief that that is something bigger than themselves and a belief from the team in the leader.

Leadership is a marriage between the mental and the emotional.

The 1980s and 90s produced a number of exceptional leaders; leaders then changed the whole perception of the Industry from being a secondary industry to being world class. Think Gerald Lawless (Jumeirah), Bill Toner (Sodexo, Aramark, CH& Co) Alastair Storey (BaxterStorey), Peter Lederer (Gleneagles), Ian Neill (Wagamama) and Nick Jones (Soho House) to name only a few. All are different but all believed in more than themselves.

Sport has also has great leaders – McCaw, Duncan and Puyol – put their teams before their personal gain and ego and the teams responded as they knew that these players believed in something more than the individual. Read more here.

Hospitality has over the years produced exceptional leaders. Isn’t it strange that the Industry today asks where the new leaders are and why are they struggling to break through?

The answers lie before our eyes:

  • Investment in developing talent has fallen by a relative 60% over the past twenty years
  • Leadership development focuses on intellect and strategy rather than people

Business has become dominated by compliance, regulation and process but people are equally, if not more important.

The challenge that now lies with us is to reverse this trend. We can listen to business leaders discuss the problems that we face over the decline with incoming talent after Brexit but the counter is that there is a need to invest in British talent. We need to look at new models, new solutions and invest in our people.

Hospitality has been built on great leaders.  Today’s legacy will be judged by how it responds to develop talent that lies in the new generations. The hard truth is that the traditional institutes and programmes need to adapt to the modern need.  Leadership development needs to be more focused on people.

EP is setting out to create change in how people are developed and explore to the need to develop talent far better.  We have a number of leaders happy to give up their time to talk through their thoughts and one can learn much from those that lead – this is the marriage between proven leaders and emerging talent.

Knowledge is important but so is reflection, understanding, care and thought. This is the mission that we wish to support.

  • Knowledge Share: EP Think Tanks and Leadership Lectures with key senior leaders from the sector sharing their experience and insights.
  • Social Skills and Public Speaking Development: The Hospitality Debating Society, a members club with a series debates/oratory that helps developing opinions into structured arguments.
  • Emotional Leadership: practical activities that helps creating stronger teams working together towards a goal as well as having fun.

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