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Hotel Management - Are Your Leaders Worth The Investment

Jon Sholter


Today, in less than 3 minutes, we are going to cover the following: Why your hotel leaders require more investment than you think.

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I think every operator, at all levels of leadership, is at one point in time surprised by their direct reports' lack of knowledge, execution, and competency.

Owners get frustrated with their GMs, and GMs get frustrated with their internal leadership. Now, I know it is not all bad, but who hasn't been there?

Hotel Management

Let's go through some common scenarios and frustrations many operators encounter with their Leaders.

  1. The frustration of tasks not getting done in a timely manner or perhaps important initiatives seemingly not being viewed as top priority.

  2. Systems, processes and initiatives falling by the wayside after implementation.

  3. Inability to think through problems and come to solutions on their own.

  4. Lack of ability to identify root causes or areas of improvement leading to progress only being made through direct orders and hand holding.

  5. A sense of extreme stress and treading of water.

When we witness symptoms like these, our immediate reaction is, did we make the wrong hire or promotion? Although, this is possible, if the individual's attitude is proper, they probably just need additional support.

Why is this the case?

The hotel industry is great because anyone from any background can push through the ranks. Many GMs and Senior Leaders 🎶Started from the Bottom 🎶 and through their attitude, ambition and eagerness to excel, they're here.

As owners and overarching executives, we need to realize the skills that got our Leaders where they are, are not the same as the ones they need to excel in senior level positions.

I already pay this person $$$, and now you're telling me they don't have the proper skill set?

Not all GMs (substitute position here) are equal just because they have the same title, and the gap is more significant the higher up the pay scale you go. For those who have been in the industry for a while, you know this by experiencing who you've worked for, worked with, and managed/employed.

Regarding development, you must distinguish which direct reports/employees are worth the investment and who aren't. However, investing in 'traditional' hotel training is not necessarily your missing piece of the puzzle for upper management.

The truth is, the hotel training will come mainly from experience, exposure and time. Many of our Leaders come from the front lines, where they learned to shine through their work ethic, guest service and willingness to roll up their sleeves. However, the skills needed in the back office are much different. Skills like Time Management, Critical Thinking and Culture Building to name a few are what really move the needle.

So what do I do?

The answer is simple, but hard, like walking a thousand miles.

  1. You need to make sure someone in your organization has these skills to pass on to your Team.

  2. You need to ensure this someone has the time and a consistent schedule to pass on these skills.

  3. You need to ensure this happens on repeat, for eternity as your organization grows.

The above is easier said than done, but the returns are worth it. Take some time to think about your current leadership team. Are they at the level you want/expect? Do you have the right people to grow your Leaders? Do you need help with that :)?

As always, thanks for reading!


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