As we face the challenge that will come from a receding economy and Brexit, leadership will be asked to place the service of others at its heart.
How many are really prepared for this?
Business cannot face a much harder challenge than exists at this moment; the COVID-19 pandemic, a deep recession which may be understandably worse than that of 2008/9 and of course, Brexit – where did that word go for the last few months?!!
There will be natural changes. It is unavoidable. Life cannot just return to how it was without organisational change.
Leaders will be asked: how does the work of your business impact on clients, on the environment and on communities?
They should ask; who do I employ? How do my colleagues feel about the aims of the business?
Given that it is well known that many have felt disengaged and lacking faith in the ways of their leadership teams, it is likely that the questions will be challenging, and in many cases, rightly so.
For many leaders, they will need to develop internal messages that effectively engage their teams to provide great customer service which goes above and beyond, whilst having a sense of purpose that goes further than simply fulfilling financial objectives.
During the Covid crisis, strategies have been torn up and new ones created to allow businesses to focus on the core objectives of asking;
“why do we do this?
why did we do that?
where are we heading, and what do we need to do to get there?”
We all now understand that values have changed and that demands are greater than they were before. We and all business leaders must create a genuine and dependable plan for our businesses, our clients and guests, our colleagues, and for ourselves.
We need a clear mission and positive intentions with the ethos of great service at the core of everything that we do.
It was JFK who, in 1961, said the famous words “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”.
Almost sixty years on and this is still the same ethos that sets the benchmark for leadership today. In today’s world, leaders will be asked to excel in their work but also contribute to society; they must act bigger and think bigger than themselves.
The argument is that to activate plans and to be able to transform businesses, a sense of pride, purpose, and service should be part of the continuum.
Yes of course profit is a basic need in all businesses, but it is people’s desire to make a contribution which is more meaningful, sustainable, and enduring.
Many leaders are going to have to create new messages and behaviours to engage many who are detached from the business or organisation, as it is these few who will deliver great service.
In Hospitality, it has long needed a strong relationship between leaders and teams; we have had the time to reflect, and now have to make the time to change.