EP #9 – How Leadership Connects to the Bottom Line with Zee Mahmood

Zee Mahmood Is Your Leadership Style Enhancing or Harming your Operation?

Zee Mahmood joins the show to share thoughts on leadership. With over 30 years in the hotel industry, Zee has learned a great deal about leadership and he shares his wisdom on this episode.

Today he talks about what the most successful operators have incorporated into their leadership styles to help them be so effective, getting the most out of your associate’s performance, improving the guest experience and improving the ownership’s ROI. Listen in for all of that and more on episode 9 of Hospitality Academy!

Essential Learning Points From This Episode:

  • Should you be bluntly honest in all situations?
  • The four traits of a good hospitality leader: what are they?
  • Who should be giving associates a sense of ownership of the hotel?
  • Why service and product are both critical for success in hospitality.
  • Is there such a thing as a motivation introverts?
  • And much, much more!

If you had the opportunity to learn from someone with over 30 years of experience in hospitality what do you think you’d find out? Today’s your chance to do just that! Zee Mahmood is opening up his treasure chest of knowledge on this episode.

He’s become known as a thought leader on the topic of leadership and that’s one of the first areas we discuss. While there isn’t one specific style of leadership that is best suited to hospitality there are four key traits that make a hospitality leader a great one: calm, honesty, integrity and enthusiasm. With those characteristics in tact, you will be able to create a strong culture and a sense of loyalty among your staff.

That raised an interesting question of how honest is too honest? Can you ever be too honest as a leader? Zee says no. He gives an example of when he, as a consultant, had to be bluntly honest with a hotel management company.

This particular hotel was struggling and ownership was worried about the mortgage on the hotel. Zee was sent there to find out what the mission was of this hotel and its management, and find out why they were struggling. They were in a strong market so it wasn’t about their placement, it was something else.

Zee astutely asked the general manager what his mission statement for the hotel was, and when he answered they had no mission statement Zee dug further. He asked what the GM wanted the hotel to be known for. The GM responded, saying he wanted the hotel to be the best at regional meetings.

So they walked through the conference rooms as they were discussing this, and Zee noticed cobwebs on a chandelier in one of the rooms. Immediately he knew this GM and his team was not prepared to be the best at regional meetings. Their behavior, their actions and the general way they were operating was not set up to achieve that goal. So Zee had to be blunt with him and tell him they were not set up to achieve the GM’s goal.

Zee’s observations and blunt input highlight the importance of receiving input from outsiders. Whether we like what we hear or not, we have to be open to and supportive of outside perspectives on our operations. And that’s something a great leader does: they encourage learning from internal and external sources. Great leaders know we learn from each other.

They also firmly stand for mutual respect of everyone on the team. As Zee and I both agree: a job in a hotel is just a job in a hotel until someone makes it more for you. If everyone on staff is respected and all input is encouraged and valued that job becomes more than a job.

Those are just a few of the great topics Zee and I discuss on this episode. We also explore why giving your associates a sense of ownership is so key, how to build a culture in your hotel and why being firm yet flexible is also important to your success and your hotel’s success. Listen in for all of that and more on this edition of Hospitality Academy!

Important Links & Mentions From This Episode:

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