Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Golden Rule

I have often described myself as a student of leadership and I value the opportunity to continuously learn and grow.

There is it seems, an endless supply of resources, both tangible and intangible, from which we can learn important lessons in leadership, good and bad, you just need to open yourself up to see what is out there.

One of the many resources available to us is the wide variety of books on leadership that have been written by many recognized and celebrated leaders.

It was while I was recently reviewing Isadore Sharp’s book; FOUR SEASONS: The Story of a Business Philosophy, that I was reminded of one of my favourite guiding principles – The Golden Rule.

The Golden Rule:  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts credits much of their success on their unwavering commitment to the application of The Golden Rule and for me, it reinforced both the importance of that message, but also the simplicity of it as well.

As Hotel companies strive to outdo each other, and to introduce new service components, I often find myself thinking about the fact that, in many instances, these same companies have lost sight of the forest for the trees.

Service, genuine, sincere, authentic service trumps everything else – everything, and the right attitude trumps experience, every time.

And imagine, as a team member at Four Seasons, what you have to think about as you welcome guests and serve them in your respective area – one thing and one thing only – The Golden Rule.  The simplicity of it is genius.  Instead of having to think about the “10 Key Service Standards” or the like at some other Hotel companies, all you have to think about is one thing, and how you apply that one thing as you go about carrying out the duties of your position.

Sure, Four Seasons will have other standards that need to be applied, but regardless, the foundation that they are built upon is about as straight forward as you can get, and what I also love about it, is that anyone and everyone can understand it.

Long before I first became aware of Four Seasons’ commitment to The Golden Rule, I introduced the concept to my employees when I first became a department manager and I have continued to reinforce my belief in the simplicity of service to managers, supervisors and employees that have worked with me ever since, and what simpler way to convey that commitment to the simplicity of service but through the application of The Golden Rule.

It has served me well, and I suspect many of the people who have worked with me over the years as well.

As I've been guilty of saying before; service 101 - it aint rocket science... 

The more that we can simplify things for our employees, and leave them with a sense of ownership in how they can individualize their service delivery, the greater the likelihood that they will deliver the genuine, sincere and authentic service that exceeds guests expectations, creates guest loyalty, and sets us apart from our competitors. 

Need an experienced hospitality professional to help your property reach its full potential?  Contact me.

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