the Optimists View
This morning I've read a number of articles painting a somewhat bright outlook for the lodging industry and how it may be spared the harshest effects of the recession. Some of these articles discuss where your focus should be shifted to ensure minimal impact from a downswing in the economy. Having survived really tough economic situations in sales roles before, I started thinking about the fear I woke up with each morning during the fourth quarter of 2001 and all of 2002. The interesting balance all sales leaders face is controlled optimis...listening to the General Managers pessimism while still trying to present a positive, uplifting 'we can do it' spirit to the sales team.
All this led me to think about truly affecting change within your team to survive potential tough times, or at least times that call for more tenacity than previously required.
In today's economic climate, there is no such thing as maintaining status quo. Even if your budget from last year to this year is flat, for most of us meeting that budget means working harder than you did last year to achieve the same numbers. If continual change is necessary to survive, as a leader how do I get my team to support organizational aspirations? Because, without my team, I’m dead in the water.
From my years in leading sales and operational teams in hotels the thing that mattered most was gaining the team’s buy-in. If there's dissension on the bus, you'll have spirit-killing grumbling long before you arrive at your destination. Every player must understand the goal, feel it is attainable and be ready and willing to support each other along the way.
How do you earn your team's buy-in? I believe the only way is to share your goals...in an upbeat, positive way. If you don't believe you can reach the goal, neither will your team.
Triumph or Tragedy
Believe it or not, one thing I struggle with is optimism. When given a goal or creating one for myself, I tend to believe the sky is the limit and react accordingly. The good thing about this is it results in high expectations, which I personally believe are essential. The tough part is, keeping your chin up when you don't meet the goal. Not letting it crush your spirit and make you feel like a complete loser. Being able to pick yourself up, realign your vision to present reality and set a new goal.
Doing this is always easier with full buy-in and support from your team. A true spirit of 'in it together-ness'. What is the best way to create buy in? COMMUNICATION