Reflections on K C Ptomey: Providing Room for All at the Table

“Auld Lang Syne” is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song. It is well known in many countries, especially (but far from exclusively) in the English-speaking world; its traditional use being to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight.

The sentiment of the song also provides us with the opportunity to reflect on those who have passed on and left us this year.

KC Ptomey was the head minister at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Nashville for more than 25 years. He passed away in May 2013.KC Ptomey

I knew him for 17 years in a number of roles but had not been in contact with him for several years, as I had moved 2500 miles away and we all know about distance.  I was saddened when my daughter (who had also moved to another state) called and shared the sad news.

I read online one of the eulogies shared by one of his colleagues, Theodore Wardlaw of Texas.    Wardlaw shared a sentiment that was so expressive of KC – that of sharing.      K C was planning his seventieth birthday party and the news from his oncologist advised him it was likely his last. The birthday was to be at a rented beach house in North Carolina and KC advised his friend of the most important requirement for the house on that beach.   It had to have a table large enough to seat eleven people.  He wouldn’t consider extending the length with a card table or two, lest anyone there feel like second-class citizens; no, the table had to be large enough for at least 11 people, with space underneath for two dogs.

KC was a great storyteller and his sermons were to the point, meant to be relevant and meaningful to the person hearing it.   He was a great listener and made everyone feel included, even if he might not be in agreement with a particular issue.

Being the head minister in a large church for 25+ years has made some people vain or egotistical, but KC remained true to his beliefs and avoided the pitfalls.    Another story shared in this eulogy was one I had never heard from KC, which was like him because he remained grounded. This was a different story about “Providing Room for All at the Table.”

From the Wardlaw eulogy         It happened  in the early 1960’s in Memphis.   These were still days of deeply-defended segregation in the South, and many churches there had strict policies against welcoming people of color to worship.  Lines were deeply drawn between the white establishment and the other races; but change was in the air. One Sunday, three white students at Southwestern College at Memphis—what became Rhodes College—went with African American students to worship at Second Presbyterian Church, the largest and most powerful Presbyterian church in town.  These three students went with three students of color on a Sunday morning to worship at that church, and at the doors of that church, they were all turned away.  It was church policy.  Almost immediately, the story hit the Associated Press and the United Press International, and it ricocheted around the country and across our communion.  The Presbyterian General Assembly was to have had its annual meeting at that church in the following year, and, because of this story’s power, leaders in our communion elected another venue for the General Assembly. 

 A historian who recounted this story said that it was huge in those days to defy the cultural norms like that.  “These young men were bravely defiant,” he said.  “They risked their necks; they could have been beaten up.”  Yet all three of those white students were formed by that moment.  Each one went on to go to seminary and to become Presbyterian ministers, and one of those students was K.C. Ptomey.  Even as a college student, he had to do something; because the table wasn’t large enough.

The Presbyterian Church is one with a history back to Scotland , so you can see the link to “Auld Lang Syne”. Many Presbyterian denominations work together with other Reformed denominations of other traditions, and KC was always one to reach out to as many people as possible.

KC’s commitment to the philosophy of a large enough table was central to his being.   I appreciated his values, his intellect, his sense of fair play and more.  Thank you for your commitment to so many people, so many times.

Success does not come by accident or chance.

Contact us for assistance.

John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com or 602-799-5375

HospitalityEducators.com was created to help hospitality businesses address problems via a training and information resource site to help you increase your Hotel’s revenue, market share and profitability.  With more than 2,000 pages of tips, guides, best practices, strategies, plans, budgets, videos and resources, HospitalityEducators.com is the #1 independent website for hotel owners and managers.  This site can help you solve your problems now!      Read More  

KEYS TO SUCCESS  is the umbrella title for my ongoing programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my “HOW TO” articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS™, Lessons from the Field™, Hotel Common Sense™ , THE P-A-R PRINCIPLE™  and Principles for Success.

Feel free to share an idea for a column at john.hogan@hospitalityeducators.com   anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense,


 Dr. John Hogan CHA CHE Oct 2010 MinneapolisJohn Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is CEO and Co-Founder of www.HospitalityEducators.com , which delivers focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today.

www.HospitalityEducators.com  is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.

www.HoganHospitality.com
Your Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations.

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An illustration of Customer Service that Costs Little and Delivers Much!

Airlines do not often have a reputation of delivering great customer service, but there are exceptions!   The same can be said for hotels……………….

What does your hotel do to deliver exceptional customer service?

Success does not come by accident or chance.

Contact us for assistance.

John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com or 602-799-5375

HospitalityEducators.com was created to help hospitality businesses address problems via a training and information resource site to help you increase your Hotel’s revenue, market share and profitability.  With more than 2,000 pages of tips, guides, best practices, strategies, plans, budgets, videos and resources, HospitalityEducators.com is the #1 independent website for hotel owners and managers.  This site can help you solve your problems now!      Read More  

KEYS TO SUCCESS  is the umbrella title for my ongoing programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my “HOW TO” articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS™, Lessons from the Field™, Hotel Common Sense™ , THE P-A-R PRINCIPLE™  and Principles for Success.

Feel free to share an idea for a column at john.hogan@hospitalityeducators.com   anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense,


 Dr. John Hogan CHA CHE Oct 2010 MinneapolisJohn Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is CEO and Co-Founder of www.HospitalityEducators.com , which delivers focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today.

www.HospitalityEducators.com  is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.

www.HoganHospitality.com
Your Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations.

You never know the heart you may be touching……. a true story

The Hotel Clerk

One stormy night many years ago, an elderly man and his wife entered the lobby of a small hotel in Philadelphia, USA. Trying to get out of the rain, the couple approached the front desk hoping to get some shelter for the night.

“Could you possibly give us a room here?” – the husband asked.

The clerk, a friendly man with a winning smile, looked at the couple and explained that there were three conventions in town. “All of our rooms are taken,” the clerk said. “But I can’t send a nice couple like you out into the rain at one o’clock in the morning. Would you perhaps be willing to sleep in my room? It’s not exactly a suite, but it will be good enough to make you folks comfortable for the night.”

When the couple declined, the young man pressed on. “Don’t worry about me, I’ll make out just fine,” the clerk told them.

So the couple agreed.

As he paid his bill the next morning, the elderly man said to the clerk, “You are the kind of manager who should be the boss of the best hotel. Maybe someday I’ll build one for you.”

The clerk looked at them and smiled. The three of them had a good laugh. As they drove away, the elderly couple agreed that the helpful clerk was indeed exceptional, as finding people who are both friendly and helpful isn’t easy.

Two years passed. The clerk had almost forgotten the incident when he received a letter from the old man. It recalled that stormy night and enclosed a round-trip ticket to New York, asking the young man to pay them a visit.

The old man met him in New York, and led him to the corner of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street. He then pointed to a great new building there, a pale reddish stone, with turrets and watchtowers thrusting up to the sky.

“That,” said the older man, “is the hotel I have just built for you to manage.”

“You must be joking.” – the young man said.

“I can assure you I am not.” – said the older man, a sly smile playing around his mouth.

The older man’s name was William Waldorf-Aster, and that magnificent structure was the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The young clerk who became its first manager was George C. Boldt. This young clerk never foresaw the turn of events that would lead him to become the manager of one of the world’s most glamorous hotels.

Author Unknown

Don’t be afraid to reach and touch someone’s life,

you never know who’s heart you may be touching.

 

Success does not come by accident or chance.

Contact us for assistance.

John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com or 602-799-5375

HospitalityEducators.com was created to help hospitality businesses address problems via a training and information resource site to help you increase your Hotel’s revenue, market share and profitability.  With more than 2,000 pages of tips, guides, best practices, strategies, plans, budgets, videos and resources, HospitalityEducators.com is the #1 independent website for hotel owners and managers.  This site can help you solve your problems now!      Read More  

KEYS TO SUCCESS  is the umbrella title for my ongoing programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my “HOW TO” articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS™, Lessons from the Field™, Hotel Common Sense™ , THE P-A-R PRINCIPLE™  and Principles for Success.

Feel free to share an idea for a column at john.hogan@hospitalityeducators.com   anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense,


 Dr. John Hogan CHA CHE Oct 2010 MinneapolisJohn Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is CEO and Co-Founder of www.HospitalityEducators.com , which delivers focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today.

www.HospitalityEducators.com  is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.

www.HoganHospitality.com
Your Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations.

Reality Checks in Hospitality- Myth or Fact? | By Dr. John Hogan CHA CHE CMHS CHO

Reality Checks in Hospitality- Myth or Fact? |

By Dr. John Hogan CHA CHE CMHS CHO

During the past 25 years in workshops and presentations, I have been collecting “myths” that many of us have held as self-evident truths. I have shared some in earlier columns, but this list is more comprehensive.

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive and unrealistic – John F. Kennedy

Judge for yourself the depth of these following items, and decide for yourself if you agree with my assessment whether they are “myths or facts”:

1. The Myth: that consumers will value only “new and shiny” and that they will pay whatever price is charged. The Fact: There is no doubt that while some “new” is appreciated, value has replaced new for the sake of new. Many third party web sites have tried to accelerate our industry into a price driven commodity. The success of a hotel is not guaranteed by its age, but by the consistency of product and services delivered at a fair rate.

2. The Myth that a franchise or brand will or should guarantee success. The Fact: More than 50% of the hotels/inns in the United States were unable to meet operational and/or debt service in the early 1990s, regardless of affiliation. The number of foreclosures is down with the last recession, but there are still many underperforming branded hotels. Stanley Turkel has been tracking the numbers and he estimates almost 200 new brands that have been launched in the past two years alone. A franchise may help with lender financing but it will not assure success.

3. The Myth that technology alone will enable us to improve our margins and capture more market share. The Fact: The hospitality industry has always been (and should remain) a “high touch” business. High-speed Internet access, WIFI, the latest in cable and communication offerings and other high tech features can help in competitive markets, but not replace the people element.

4. The Myth that it is the sole responsibility of the security guard or the local police to keep our hotels “safe.” The Fact: Ask any hotelier who has ever had to give a deposition or defend operational security in court if that myth holds true. The term “reasonable care” means that all of our staff must be attentive and security conscious. Our hotels should not be operated like a bank vault or a prison, but we must remember the world has changed since 9.11 and we must share awareness with our entire staff.

5. The Myth that hotel owners, management companies and lenders have the same goals and priorities. The Fact: While everyone wants the business to succeed, the priorities of success are not often even close. There are overlaps in these stakeholders, but there are clear differences. There is no “bad guy” here, but we need to remember each of our needs. Recognizing these differences as owners and managers can make our lives much simpler.

6. The Myth that the hospitality business is primarily a real estate business. The Fact: The 1986 US tax law changed lodging from an emphasis on real estate to an operational focus in the 1990s. The 2008 global financial meltdown dramatically changed the economic climate .  It takes dedicated and perceptive operators to make these hotels successful and financially sound for more than one fiscal quarter or year.

7. The Myth that our quality standards are good, because we passed a franchise and/or local health department inspection. The Fact: Passing those inspections means in most cases that we have met minimum standards for those categories. How many of today’s customers really want the minimum in quality?

8. The Myth that the person(s) charged with the sales function should be able to fill the hotel. The Fact: In the hotels that really succeed, everyone sells! The same philosophy should be true in smaller rooms only hotels as well as full service properties. It is a related Myth that our managers and staff are adequately trained and that our industry or college educated staff have learned enough to make them successful. The related Fact is that most of us in hospitality do not have adequate continuing education. That myth alone is a leading factor in turnover, which is a major expense.

9. The Myth that the GM is responsible for quality. The Fact: At past conventions of many brands, management companies, national and international Associations I have seen presentations from hotels of all sizes who participated with quality teams. Their results were usually of exceeding both occupancy and profitability over hotels that did not make a focused effort – regardless of hotel size, brand or location. The term used is one we are all familiar with – empowerment. It means hiring the right people and then authorizing them to do what we hired them to do

10. The Myth that an expensive renovation, a new flag, or a new manager alone will “save” us and solve all our problems. The Fact: It takes time, focused and planned work to solve our problems and to properly financially position our hotels for the long-term. It takes the right combination of quality product and committed staff to succeed.

11. The Myth:” If what I’m doing today works well or at least OK, I should keep doing it exactly the same forever.” “if we never did things differently, we would never get any other results.” The Fact: Our world is changing so quickly and regularly – we must be pro-active, not always reactive. Inflation and time will not allow us to raise our room rates a certain percentage annually and we must avoid the illogical price war strategies many hotels use as a primary marketing strategy. We should maximize our rates and our revenues by offering the best value in our market.

12. The Myth that we provide sufficient feedback to our staff with regular annual reviews. The Fact: Annual reviews alone are almost worthless. Do we recall the great thing someone did 9 months ago, or the problems of 10 days ago? Quarterly performance appraisals with an annual financial review are worth the effort from renewed enthusiasm to a more focused attention.

13. The Myth that hospitality associations are a needless expense and they are primarily social clubs. The Fact: Some associations were and possibly remain at least partially socially focused. The reality is that most of them are politically astute, in that they are attentive to memberships’ needs in introducing, monitoring or lobbying against legislation that treats the industry unfairly. Most provide ongoing educational and specific membership services.

Our myths and belief in them shape our understanding of our personal and business lives. They describe for us “the way things are.”

Add your own myths to the list………..

We must remember that we must focus on delivering the right services to the right customer at the right price, which means attentiveness to sales and marketing efforts are essential.

 

Success does not come by accident or chance.

Contact us for assistance.

John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com or 602-799-5375

HospitalityEducators.com was created to help hospitality businesses address problems via a training and information resource site to help you increase your Hotel’s revenue, market share and profitability.  With more than 2,000 pages of tips, guides, best practices, strategies, plans, budgets, videos and resources, HospitalityEducators.com is the #1 independent website for hotel owners and managers.  This site can help you solve your problems now!      Read More  

KEYS TO SUCCESS  is the umbrella title for my ongoing programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my “HOW TO” articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS™, Lessons from the Field™, Hotel Common Sense™ , THE P-A-R PRINCIPLE™  and Principles for Success.

Feel free to share an idea for a column at john.hogan@hospitalityeducators.com   anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense,


 

John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is CEO and Co-Founder of www.HospitalityEducators.com , which delivers focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today.
www.HospitalityEducators.com  is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.

www.HoganHospitality.com
Your Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations.

Remembering Pearl Harbor in a Different Way

Pearl Harbor: after the tours have gone.

Wars have seldom resolved issues on a long term basis, yet they continue to be started anew.

Take a few moments to quietly learn the message in this short video

[youtube.com/watch?v=MgE2KiPd3xg]

Success does not come by accident or chance.

Contact us for assistance.

John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com or 602-799-5375

HospitalityEducators.com was created to help hospitality businesses address problems via a training and information resource site to help you increase your Hotel’s revenue, market share and profitability.  With more than 2,000 pages of tips, guides, best practices, strategies, plans, budgets, videos and resources, HospitalityEducators.com is the #1 independent website for hotel owners and managers.  This site can help you solve your problems now!      Read More  

KEYS TO SUCCESS  is the umbrella title for my ongoing programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my “HOW TO” articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS™, Lessons from the Field™, Hotel Common Sense™ , THE P-A-R PRINCIPLE™  and Principles for Success.

Feel free to share an idea for a column at john.hogan@hospitalityeducators.com   anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense,


 

John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is CEO and Co-Founder of www.HospitalityEducators.com , which delivers focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today.
www.HospitalityEducators.com  is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.

www.HoganHospitality.com
Your Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations.

Building a firm foundation for success -Observations from HospitalityEducators.com

In building a firm foundation for success, here are a few stones to remember:

1. The wisdom of preparation.
2. The value of confidence.
3. The worth of honesty.
4. The privilege of working.
5. The discipline of struggle.
6. The magnetism of character.
7. The radiance of health.
8. The forcefulness of simplicity.
9. The winsomeness of courtesy.
10. The attractiveness of modesty.
11. The inspiration of cleanliness.
12. The satisfaction of serving.
13. The power of suggestion.
14. The buoyancy of enthusiasm.
15. The advantage of initiative.
16. The virtue of patience.
17. The rewards of cooperation.
18. The fruitfulness of perseverance.
19. The sportsmanship of losing.
20. The joy of winning.

Rollo C. Hester
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Feel free to share an idea for a column at info@hoganhospitality.com anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events.  He is Co-Founder of a consortium (www.HospitalityEducators.com) of successful corporate and academic professionals delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today.www.HospitalityEducators.com is a resource offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.Individuals wishing to contribute articles or materials may send them to  Kathleen@HospitalityEducators.com. Special pricing is in effect for a limited time that also includes a complimentary copy of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD- A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES.
Consulting Expertise and Research Interest

  1. Sales Management and training
  2. Turn-around and revenue management
  3. Professional Development for the Organization and the Individual
  4. Customer Service
  5. Making Cultural Diversity Real
  6. Developing Academic Hospitality programs
  7. Medical Lodging Consulting

If you need assistance in any of these areas or simply an independent review or opinion on a hospitality challenge, contact me directly for a prompt response and very personalized attention.

www.HoganHospitality.com

Your Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations

http://www.linkedin.com/in/drjohnhoganchache

CONTACT

Dr. John Hogan, CHE CHA CMHS

United States – Phoenix, Phone: 602-799-5375

www.hoganhospitality.com/ Email: info@hoganhospitality.com