How to be a leader in a non-manager hotel role
People don’t usually get promoted for jobs they can do—they’re usually promoted for jobs they’re already doing.
That means if you aspire to a management role in the hotel industry, you’ll need to start acting like a leader today. Wondering how exactly to do that? We’ve got three techniques.
Build Others Up
Managers have two types of influence over their reports: they can praise them, or they can penalize them. But for obvious reasons, you only have one type of influence: praise and support.
So, look for opportunities to recognize your peers. Did a fellow coworker get a glowing compliment from a guest? Give her an enthusiastic congratulations. Did one of your team members accomplish his goal? Mention it at your next team meeting. You should also try to help anyone who’s struggling; for example, if your coworker seems upset, ask him what’s wrong and how you can help.
Not only will your relationships with others improve, but your supervisor will notice how encouraging you are.
At the end of the day, a hotel manager must claim full ownership for the team’s work—whether it’s good or bad. You can demonstrate your readiness for a leadership position by taking responsibility for both your achievements and your failures.
Let’s say you’re a conference coordinator, and your last event was a disaster. Not only did you order cookies containing peanut flour—which triggered an allergic reaction from one of the guests—but you booked the live music for the wrong night.
Rather than waiting for your boss to bring up the issue, proactively go to him or her and say something along the lines of, “I know you must be disappointed in how last Saturday’s conference went. I take full responsibility—I should have checked with the caterer to make sure the food didn’t contain any allergies, and I also should have confirmed the band’s booking. Going forward, here’s what I’ll do differently…”
By showing that you’re honest about your mistakes, you’ll also show you’d make a good manager.
Volunteer for Extra Projects
You’re probably already busy—but if you want your leadership skills acknowledged, you’ll need to take on additional tasks.
First, volunteering for these opportunities often places you in a quasi-leadership position. To give you an idea, maybe your boss mentions he wants more guests to “check in” to the hotel on Instagram. You say, “I’d be happy to research how other hotels are encouraging social check-ins.” To which your boss responds, “Great idea! Why don’t you head up a small task force.”
Second, taking initiative signals that you do more than the bare minimum—a trait that’s essential in a manager. After all, a great boss inspires his or her team members to work hard; if he or she is going through the motions, the team will, too.
Acting like a leader in a non-management role is the most effective way to set yourself up for a promotion. So encourage your peers, take responsibility when you mess up, and raise your hand for extra work.