Core Values of a Professional Hotelier

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A Professional has the power to add a spark to or ruin your day. He/she can set the tone for a great day ahead. On the flip side, a non-professional can spoil it so badly for you that the bitterness or exasperation of the exchange carries on into your other interactions and spheres of work. The following set of core values are the defining factors separating the common folk from extraordinary leaders who have the propensity to lead successful ships and a star team of zealous performers.

So, what are you and who do you wish to be? The choice is in your hands.

Be kind and compassionate

Perhaps because Professionals are self-made and have tilled to get there, they are thoughtful of efforts put in by others. Because they have figured that every day is not the same and every person even more different, they are considerate of others’ eclecticism and cherish the worth they bring to the table.

Professionals are generally more understanding. They value others and their efforts; and are inclined to bring out the best in them.

On the other hand, the ‘nons’ may give two hoots to all other beings but for the three most important in their scheme of things – I, Me, Myself.

Be hardworking and self-disciplined

That is how ordinary workers become professionals in the first place. They have strong willpower, are persistent and persevere to attain the seemingly unachievable. Professionals believe in turning the boulders into building blocks and enjoy the thrill and the challenge of the process.

Always deliver

Be it the General Manager pledging a healthy bottom line to the CEO, the CEO always being answerable to the owners, the talented Chef presenting just what the guest wished, the Concierge managing to get the right and full information sought, the Chauffeur offering a smooth, suitably informative, relaxed and enjoyable ride to the hotel, the Sales Manager connecting all the dots from opening a dialogue to successfully closing the deal to everybody’s satisfaction; professionals deliver. Without fail, each time, every time!

Professional people are duty-bound and committed. And that is why they deliver.

Go ahead and make mistakes. But make no compromises

Professional people understand that making mistakes is an integral part of learning and growing. So they make mistakes unabashedly but not carelessly. And they detest making the same mistake over and over again. ‘Compromise’ does not exist in a Professional hotelier’s lexicon. They do not cut corners. Professionals know that the path to excellence is not easy and that there is no short cut to success.

Instill trust

On the basis of their prowess over their function, the proficient hold on their area of work and the enviable experience under their belts, Professionals instill a strong sense of trust in us that they will carry out the required action to the best of their knowledge and ability.The truly Professional have no excuses up their sleeve to shirk work or responsibility entrusted in them and they can be implicitly relied upon.

Professionals also earn our trust because they are honest and ethical. Because they are above board, there are not many motives for them to resort to lies.

Also, Professionals believe in fair play; they play by the principles.

Do not step on others to climb up

Professional workers respect hard work. They recognize the blood and sweat that goes into putting sincere efforts. They are aware of the rough patches one has to overcome before the ride gets smooth. Because they treasure what they have achieved on merit and not by easy means, Professionals do not believe in stepping on others, undermining their efforts and putting others down to put themselves up. In their rule book, there is no place for such shameful, worthless shenanigans.

Be a team player

If it were not for the teammates, Professionals realize that they would remain lone rangers in a lonely, uncharged, unexciting world of low or no productivity.

Professional folk fully comprehend that no man is an island. From the teacher who imparted lessons beautifully, the class which egged them on with a sense of healthy competition and cheered them every time they stood ahead to get that medal, the University Guide who refused to accept shoddy work on their dissertation, the new workmates who accepted them and made them feel comfortable in their first jobs – Professionals know that work-life is all about team playing. For you to strike a goal or hit a sixer, there must be others on your team who rally around you to help you in giving your best shot. The mental, intellectual, skillful games we play at work are no different. If it were not for the teammates, Professionals realize that they would remain lone rangers in a lonely, uncharged, unexciting world of low or no productivity. In the extremely dynamic and complex world of hoteliering, this bears a greater significance.

Be secure, confident and humble

This sense of confidence stems from the learnings that they have built upon as their bank of knowledge; which practiced with finesse and commitment over time gets translated into experience par excellence.

Professional people are self-aware of their strengths and weaknesses – the first they build upon continuously and the second they overcome by practice and persistence. Professionals are self-sure and confident of the distance they can travel and the summits they can successfully climb. This sense of confidence stems from the learnings that they have built upon as their bank of knowledge; which practiced with finesse and commitment over time gets translated into experience par excellence. Professional workers are never proud but they have a pleasing sense of pride in their mettle, merit, acumen, and accomplishments. Professionals maintain humility because they know that they have to grow up and on to perpetuity and that the room for improvement is, indeed, the biggest; always – no matter what they have achieved and where they have come to, this far.

Be a mentor

Professional people thrive in active cultures of growth, learning, and development. They need to be challenged and love to add the extra to the ordinary. Therefore, to create such an environment, they must nurture others around. Professionals get immense satisfaction from dispensing their endowment and sharing their skill-set with others. For them to bite the bigger part of the pie, they must ensure that the ball is left in other able hands. Moreover, Professionals see mentoring as an extended exercise in personal growth and self-advancement.

Be happy, enthusiastic, positive and optimistic

There is no other way. Happiness flows out of the fact that it has been a well-spent day with a task done well. Enthusiasm is integral to carrying out the job in the finest way known. Professionals breathe in and out positive energy; because negativity can sap the sense out of professionalism. And professionals are optimistic – hope springs eternal, for even if things didn’t turn out as planned today, tomorrow will always be a better day. Professionals will strive such that is does!

Practice these core values, internalize them and see yourselves hailed as quintessentially professional hoteliers who can make any brand or team flourish.

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L. Aruna Dhir
L. Aruna Dhir is a recognized and national-poll winning Corporate Communications Specialist and Writer. Currently, she is a Feature Writer for ehotelier.com and Columnist with Hospitality.Net – the world’s two highest-ranked Hospitality publications. Aruna is also an avid blogger and a published poet; with two anthologies to her credit. Her writings appear in several national and international publications. A seasoned hotelier, with over 20 years of experience with some of India and Asia's top hotel brands, Aruna’s industry writings are syndicated to the finest global hospitality bodies and used as references in case studies and hotel schools. As an industry expert, Aruna has launched brands, developed training modules, created standardization dockets on business communication and written manuals. Aruna has been engaged in freelance work for Doordarshan – the Indian National Television, All India Radio, and Times FM. Aruna also serves on the Board of Association of Emerging Leaders Dialogues (AELD), a front-running Commonwealth Body that works towards developing leaders and influencers of tomorrow, with Princess Anne as its international President. An All- India level topper in her Public Relations course, Aruna has represented India to a select group of opinion-makers in the United States, as a Cultural Ambassador under the aegis of Rotary International. She has also participated in the IXth Commonwealth Study Conference held in Australia and chaired by Princess Anne. L. Aruna Dhir is the first-ever Creative Writer for the Indian greeting cards giant – ARCHIES Greetings and Gifts Ltd. She is the only person in India to have contributed original verses and have her byline on the cards. In her official and personal capacity L. Aruna Dhir has and continues to work on several social awareness projects – People for Animals, Earthquake Relief, National Blind Association, PETA, WSPA, Change.org, Friendicoes to name a few. www.luckyaruna.blogspot.com
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Ken Vincent
Ken Vincent

Excellent article, Aruna, as always. These core principles apply to any leadership position, but none more so than in the hospitality industry. Why? Because few businesses are so labor-intensive as a hotel. Hotels require many employees and management in larger properties have many layers. This makes it much harder to gain and retain the consistency of service, attitude, morale, and focus. A hotel actually isn’t a business, it is several businesses conducted in a single location. Housing, restaurants, bars, entertainment lounges, transportation, banquets, and sometimes rental spaces (resorts even more). All these points have guest contact and all of them have the potential to go wrong on any given day. If a G.M. can follow, and impart downstream the principles you outline, he/she is a wonder. A 40-hour workweek is not a reality for hotel management, nor is flex time or working from home. Young people looking for those things are not good fits for hotel positions.