Why Your Hotel Needs a Compelling Vision

Larry Fisher

Does Your Hotel Have a Compelling Vision?

So let’s talk about the first step in developing a coherent story for your hotel – Your Vision.  

It is a fact that you and your hotel travel in time, right? No matter what happens with your people inside the hotel, all of you will end up somewhere over the next month or year. So do you know where that will be?

I’m with Cheshire Cat when it told Alice, “that all depends on the path you take.” Yeah, I know hotels always say they want to go to a place where they will have higher RevPAR, lower costs, new markets, new systems, upgraded equipment, state-of-the-art technology, etc. These might be considered objectives or goals. But are these goals part of a bigger picture or vision? Sometimes they are, and sometimes they're not.

Does it really matter?  


Need Help Finding the Misalignment in Your Hotel?

Shorten your learning curve, watch this short 30-minute video on organizational alignment for hotels and start correcting misalignment in your hotel today.  

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1 - Set a Destination for Your Hotel.

I often use the analogy of a bus and its destination. If you are the leader of your hotel, part of your job is getting the other people you work with on the bus.

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t hop on a bus until I knew its destination. Think about it. If you were at a bus station and asked the bus driver where his bus was going and he replied, “Not sure … I’m just going to drive around a bit. I’ll probably start heading North but there’s no set destination. We’ll see how the trip goes and play it by ear.” Is that a bus you want to hop on? My point here is the first thing you need to do as the hotel bus driver, is pick a destination.  

It does matter. Your team needs to know the bigger picture. So set a destination – A Vision.  

2 – Forget it! I'll Just Drive!

But here's what really happens to most company bus drivers. You’ll get some people that say, “You know what…I don’t really like bus rides…they make me sick, they’re not comfortable, I don’t feel safe, etc. I’ll just follow you in my car".

Now, you end up starting your trip to your destination with some people on the bus and a caravan of cars following behind. At first, you think…well, this is ok. We’re all headed to the same destination anyway, right? 

Wrong! When people follow in their cars they get sidetracked, take different routes and sometimes … more often than we care to admit … they never really make it to the destination. We find out they took an off-ramp along the way and exited the route because they found something more inviting or distracting along the way.  

Most companies and leaders think that just telling people where the bus is going is enough. Wouldn’t you like to believe that your people would automatically want to jump on the bus? Well okay, the company takes a trip every year, shouldn’t everyone know what to do by now? The fact is, that each year the trip is different. It’s to some strange new place and the company always wants to get there in a hurry. It’s not always fun. People argue on the bus as to what’s the best route to take, there’s jockeying for the window seats in the front of the bus, etc. After a while, it just seems easier for some of your people to say, “Forget the bus, I’ll drive.”  

3 – Communicating Your Vision

In any hotel organization, there are always gaps to close. Gaps created by the distance between “where we are” (your starting point) and “where we want to go” (your destination point).  

Now, let me ask you…do you and your people know exactly where you are trying to get to? And how should they know? A simple and understandable vision is essential since delegation to, and empowerment of, your people depend on a shared understanding of your hotel’s organizational purpose.  

One of the most important responsibilities of a leader is to shape and communicate that vision to everyone in the hotel. It was Father Theodore Hesburgh, former President of Notre Dame University who said, "“The very essence of leadership is you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.”  

"You Can't Blow An Uncertain Trumpet"

- Father Theodore Hesburgh

4 – Developing Confidence and Certainty

Make your Vision for the hotel - compelling!

Then, develop the confidence and certainty that comes with knowing how to grow your people and processes in order to ensure the realization of that Vision.

Need Help Finding the Misalignment in Your Hotel?

Shorten your learning curve, watch this short 30-minute video on organizational alignment for hotels and start correcting misalignment in your hotel today.  


About The Author

Larry Fisher is the founder of Pivotal One Consulting. When he's not serving his clients, he geeks out on card games, barbecuing, and challenging his friends to top his awesome karaoke skills. He calls Palm Springs, California home.