Entrepreneurial hospitality leaders have an enormous opportunity in front of them right now. Do you see it? There is a new world, with new possibilities to create a life, leadership, team, and organization that can honor the past but also create a new, desired future. We can create organizations that are more profitable, that can grow and scale how we choose. We can develop organizations and leadership which create value, satisfaction, and meaning for ourselves, our employees, and our customers. But… can you envision it?
There are hospitality organizations that are finding great new people, right now. There are new entrepreneurs emerging and starting new and exciting hospitality businesses. The great employee migration is generating new leaders that want creative and challenging careers revolving around events, food, and service. Are you ready?
Here’s the thing that is going to either begin to propel you forward or hold you back: It will be your personal desire and commitment that will take your leadership to the next level.
What is leadership?
We can start talking about what it is, but we often miss the point. Let’s begin with describing a few things that leadership is not. It is not having a title. There are many people with titles that are not regarded as good leaders. It is not having power, authority, or ownership. We’ve seen many people with authority who do not produce results that matter or have true followers.
So, I ask again: what is leadership? In my opinion, leaders have a quality that brings forward a sense of possibility for the future and a commitment to act on behalf of that future, generating desired results.
If that’s what it is, how do we develop leaders or take our own leadership to that level? It is clearly a path of learning. Many people do what our culture has taught us to do; we get new concepts. We read books. Maybe we take a course.
In generative leadership, we say that leadership is a performance art. It’s a professional team sport. It’s not a domain of scholarship. Just like you can’t hit a perfect golf shot after watching a video, taking a class or watching a webinar about leadership does not make you a good leader. Being promoted to a new role does not make you a good leader. Owning a company does not make you a good leader, especially for a new future.
Leadership is created by taking your learning into a new domain and a new level of practice. Let’s explore four key new domains to start you on your leadership journey.
#1 A new lens
“We see the world, not as it is, but as we are, or, as we are conditioned to see it.”
This quote from Steven Covey is powerful because the world we see continues to offer us limited possibilities to take our leadership to the next level. Limited possibilities give us limited choice, resulting in limited actions that we can take.
The best predictor of future behavior, without significant change, is past behavior.
The new future that we want to discover and create will require current and emerging leaders to see with “new eyes” and through a “new lens.” What can these leaders create? A future with unlimited possibilities, which they design with value, satisfaction, and meaning for ourselves, our teams, and our customers.
#2 New language & conversations
The world that you find yourself in was created by you, through language and conversation. Language and conversation do not just describe; it also creates. In fact, human beings are always in conversation—with ourselves and with others. We cannot—not—be in conversation. Much of our conversations are stories we have created that do not allow us to see other possibilities or get the results that we say we want. Taking your leadership to the next level must involve learning to have new and missing conversations that produce action and results.
#3 Moods & emotions
Human beings are constantly in an emotional state. Emotions cause moods. We cannot—not—be in emotion. Additionally, mood is the number one predictor of the results of a desired outcome. Try to make a sale when you are in a very sour mood. What are your chances? As leaders, we can learn to observe, understand, and effectively change our moods and emotions to have more possibility in the results we want.
Human beings always have choice. We cannot—not—be in choice. Here’s the cool thing. We only ever have four choices in life and leadership. When we desire change or improvement we can:
- Choose to be resigned or resentful and leave the situation, organization, relationship.
- Choose to be happy with the way things are.
- Choose to be dissatisfied and be a victim.
- Choose to continuously communicate and lead toward the positive change you say you want.
Are you desirous of taking your organization’s leadership to the next level? Do you want to discover and generate a new future with new possibilities, choices, actions, and results? Do you see opportunity or struggle?
You have a choice. Which path will you choose? Which leader will you be? Choose your future and love your choice.