I would never have known it was him when I walked up to the desk to check in. Later I saw him bussing tables at the restaurant and the next day he was serving omelets in the breakfast buffet. It took my asking an employee who he was, merely on a hunch and she nearly beamed when she identified his actual title. Who are we talking about? The General Manger of the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
Most hotel managers have worked their way up and been in the industry for some time. You would think they know all the positions and how to lead those in each, with finesse. But we also know that the higher up the ladder a leaders climbs, the greater the impact of the law of diminishing familiarity with the jobs they used to do. Hence, the new General Manager of this Crowne Plaza keeps his skills and relevancy fresh by literally working in the departments for which he is responsible. He works side by side with team members and they respect they feel for him and trust of his leadership shows the impact of those actions. His own version of cross training seems to be working wonderfully well!
How flexible are you in your leadership? Do you require the corner office and special desk or are you willing to don the apron or work outfit of those you lead and remind yourself what it’s like to be in their shoes? In order to develop those you lead, you have to know what they do and how they do it… not just recall what it was like when you were at that level or imagine what that would have been like.
Kudos to this manager for his flexibility, leadership and style in developing those he has the privilege of leading. One night in this hotel and you quickly learn just how contagious his leadership efforts are and how well his flexibility and approach are working!
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Monica Wofford, MBA, CSP, is an international speaker, trainer, and author who helps managers who were promoted, actually become prepared to lead.
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