Archive for March, 2013

Leadership Gets the Sugar

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

SugarBetween management and leadership, leadership always gets the sugar. “Great leaders” are publicized and romanticized as their reputations grow oversized.

Let me take a moment to explain why leadership gets all the sugar. In the sporting world, you have certainly heard the glum billionaire owner offer up the excuse of a “lack of leadership in the locker room” after highly paid talent performed poorly on the field of play. What’s up with that? World-class talent, a quad-million dollar paycheck, and a rich tradition—and they can’t do it by themselves?

Bad Team + Great Leader = Better Team

Bad School + Great Leader = Better School

Bad Store + Great Leader = Better Store

Great leadership can quicken the transformation from losers to winners, no matter how you keep score. Great leadership shines a light that can invigorate or rejuvenate. Great leadership can wipe away today’s pain or panic by focusing efforts toward a better tomorrow. Great leadership can bend steel. Hardened hearts that have been hammered to steel by heartbreak are pried open with great leadership. Great leaders get more sugar (money, power, respect, better jobs) because they bring forth the best chance to achieve success from plans, hopes, and dreams.

Truthfully, not all companies want their managers to be great leaders—it depends on the leadership of the company—and not all managers can be great leaders. Some managers might outright dismiss the extra effort and awareness that is required to realize the ultimate combo-platter. But take a moment and think of the scope of your hospitality/service management job. It likely includes driving sales; controlling costs; meeting or exceeding standards; doling out rewards and punishments; communicating up, down, and across; and serving and protecting the organization, among other things. As such, you need to be part shaman-ambassador-coach-­maintenance worker-camp counselor-traffic cop, or better yet, all leader-manager. I prefer the term leadager, an excellent manager who is an excellent leader, further detailed as not one at the expense of the other but doing both well.