By Taylor Peyton, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Leadership and Workplace Psychology, Boston University School of Hospitality Administration and Priyanko Guchait, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Houston, Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership
An often underrated, but important, action that skilled leaders do is offer their followers a new perspective. That leadership behavior is especially relevant in times of crisis, when a group craves productive change as a means of survival. In the midst of a global pandemic and The Great Resignation, many hospitality leaders today find themselves under the impetus for change while sharing a common, difficult experience: urgently re-evaluating past practices to build a better future, not because they want to, but because they must.
To best serve our industry’s leaders who continue to ask hard questions about strategy, culture, and core business operations, we offer the articles within this special edition of Boston Hospitality Review. It is our hope that this edition will ignite the thinking of hospitality leaders who are actively road testing novel and promising directions for their companies.
Collectively, these articles acknowledge that our industry leaders’ organizations are dealing with the aftermath of a historic global health crisis and with massive workforce changes, realities that have devastated hospitality companies everywhere. In response, many of our authors in this edition call for future-focused solutions such as: more competitive pay and benefits packages for employees, more humane and equitable treatment of hospitality employees, improved communication from leadership across all levels of the organization, faster learning for adaptation and success, remembering the timeless importance of clear vision in the successful execution of any strategy, and the need to more strongly identify what we stand for as an industry.
Some of our authors also nod to the shift in hospitality away from the assumption that guest service is the primary focus, and into the realization that creative and highly memorable guest experiences are made possible by thoughtful human interaction. Further, focusing on memorable guest experiences relies on leaders’ impeccable management of their employees’ daily and long-term experiences with their organization, behind the scenes.
This edition also highlights magic as a tool for creating moments when people feel amazed, intrigued, and deeply connected to each other and to their company’s work. Beyond the boost a hot cup of coffee can lend to employee motivation, sometimes the special way a leader presents an idea to their team inspires fresh insight that can make all the difference.
We hope that the variety of topics covered by the articles in this special edition tease our readers’ imaginations a bit by inviting new perspectives, providing them with useful information and lessons learned from the industry, and encouraging some innovative approaches to their leadership practices.
We would like to sincerely thank all of the authors, reviewers, and staff members who contributed to the making of this. Their dedicated time and energy is what made this year’s special edition on leadership possible.
Taylor Peyton, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Leadership and Workplace Psychology, Boston University School of Hospitality Administration and Priyanko Guchait, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Houston, Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management