Fifty years ago this fall in my freshman year at college I was enrolled in my first course in calculus. Every day in class we were drilled in solving problems and were required to “recite” our solutions to assigned problems at the blackboard in front of the rest of the class. By drill and repetition our final step in every recitation was to write Q.E.D followed by the double underlined solution.
This may seem like an arcane ritual, but as we were told Q.E.D. stood for the Latin phrase Quod erat Demonstratum, which as Wikipedia states, means “which is what had to be proven” — an abbreviated phrase traditionally placed at the end of a mathematical proof or philosophical argument indicating the completion of the proof.
Though my college and calculus days are long behind me, I cannot help but use this traditional formulation to explicate the most basic problem we face in club management and how to overcome it. If you agree with the postulated statements, they then should logically lead to the demonstrated resolution. So, in the words of a number of very successful individuals who’ve given much thought to the matter, here’s the argument:
“The quality of leadership, more than any other single factor, determines the success or failure of an organization.”
Fred Fiedler & Martin Chemers, authors of Improving Leadership Effectiveness
“The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born – that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.”
Warren Bennis, scholar, organizational consultant and author, widely regarded as a pioneer of the contemporary field of Leadership studies
“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”
Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric
“Coaching isn’t an addition to a leader’s job; it’s an integral part of it.”
George S. Odiorne, business school professor and dean, consultant, corporate manager and author of 300 articles and 26 books
“The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them.”
John Maxwell, author, speaker, and pastor who has written many books, primarily focusing on leadership
Q.E.D. “Not investing in leadership development is the equivalent of organizational malpractice.”
Quint Studer, businessman, philanthropist, author of Hardwiring Excellence
When put this bluntly, no self-respecting club manager wants to be accused of managerial malpractice, so here are some cost-effective solutions to this lack of investment – in actuality the cost is more an investment in time, but the rewards are extraordinary to both individuals and the club.
- Make development of leadership and management discipline skills part of each department head’s annual plan for improvement, insisting they do the same for their subordinate managers. Review development progress during annual performance reviews.
- Use the Bully Pulpit to “preach” both an enthusiasm and commitment to self-development among subordinate managers.
- Use Leadership on the Line and The Workbook to teach and model a consistent, Service-Based Leadership style throughout the club. The basic lessons in these books are the perfect introduction to what should become a lifetime of leadership development.
- Commit to building a leadership and management disciplines library of reading material. Routinely assign books, articles, and white papers to be read by some or all. Encourage subordinates to lead discussions on relevant topics. Articles, white papers, and infographics can be downloaded at no cost from the HRI website.
- Use staff meetings for brief on-the-go discussions of leadership and management disciplines. A wide variety of On the Go Training books are available for purchase on the HRI website store.
- Use the Monthly Review of Operating Statements meetings with each department head to review and discuss leadership development.
- Set a strong example of the leadership/mentoring/coaching paradigm for all managers to emulate.
- Continue to maintain a focus on leadership development over the long haul. Such self-development is a lifelong enterprise and helps the individual as well as the club.
Yes, this all requires effort, organization, and work for small standalone operations, but keep in mind that clubs that engage in a formal program of leadership development experience significant benefits, ranging from improved initiative and engagement among managers, to enhanced performance resulting from the club-wide impact of consistent service-based leadership, as well as to pride in belonging to a high-performing operation known for quality and excellence.
Thanks and have a great day!
This weekly blog comments on and discusses the hospitality industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers – those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hardworking hospitality managers throughout the country and around the world.
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