The Best Boutique Hotels In _______ / Are you getting tired of this heading?

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I use a google search that uses the term “Boutique Hotel” because I have been retained to complete some research in recent months for a number of clients for a range of reasons. The number of “news” articles that lead off with this heading seems to be growing at an incredible pace. In reality, most of them are essentially PR promos.

My question is this- what do you at your property to make it special? Unique? Memorable?

Feel free to contact me if you could use an independent, 3rd party resource.

Comments and suggestions for future articles are always welcome john@hoganhospitality.com 

 

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO

Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness

John@Hoganhospitality.com    Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

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A really great book on life for anyone – BUT ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE UNDER 50

HOW WILL YOU MEASURE YOUR LIFE

 

200 page book. 3 sections. 10 chapters.

 

Doesn’t sound that different from many others we may have read over the years, does it?

 

Yet, this one is.

 

 

 

This was on one of those lists from a podcast company saying it was one of the most important books ever written and they consolidated it into an 18 minute audio recap.  While I listen to CDs on various topics regularly, I still try to read two books a week to keep my mind active and open to new ideas.

This is not a typical “self-help” book. Many of them have some good points, but just as many focus on a single message, often leading to other products to buy.  Nothing wrong with that.

I have a great deal of respect for many University and college professors and was proud to be affiliated with the Council of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Educators (CHRIE) for 6 years with a professional membership. I taught at three different universities and colleges as an adjunct professor over a 20 year period.  An issue I have with a good number of institutions is the requirement for research and studies that do not have much practical application for most of us.

This book and these authors do not take that approach.

The primary author, Clayton Christensen begins with life observations that many of his classmates, despite many achievements, were clearly disappointed with their lives. What faces many of us – failed marriages, issues with family and the weakening of many personal relationships are briefly and well stated as indicators of serious issues that negatively affected lives.

For background, Christensen is not a typical professor.  He has been involved in many different business and industries.  He is an author of substance and practical application.   He recognized issues about success and failure and talks about them

He challenges his graduating students with 3 unassuming questions to examine, measure, and improve their lives after college:

(Note- these are my capsules, not his actual questions)

  1. How do I need to do be to have a successful and happy career?
  2. How do I maintain and strengthen my relationships with my spouse, my children and cherished friends for the benefit of all?
  3. How can I be an ethical person in these changing times of growing duplicity and deceit?

The authors examine how to think about life, what causes what to happen, and why.  There are business case studies throughout the book that demonstrate their points

The authors discuss:

  • priorities – many questions we have asked or should ask ourselves today to find success and happiness in  careers, in  relationships and how to listen to the right inner voice we all hear
  • Motivation and how to assess what is really important to us
  • Money as neither good or bad, but a potential problem when it displaces everything else
  • Assessing job choices and a list of great questions for all of us
  • How-to’s on building and maintaining strong personal relationships
  • Building internal and healthy cultures- business, personal and family
  • Defining our own personal purpose in life

I am a boomer and above that age I mentioned in the title, but I found this book thought provoking and interesting for self-assessment.  I recognized life stages I did very well, and others I wish I had do overs. I saw some stages where I corrected my course and as impotently how I was able to assist others as a mentor, a guide or simply a life friend.

I really enjoyed reading this very different point of view on do-it-yourself analysis.
“How Will You Measure Your Life?”

If you find this review useful, please let Amazon and me know by clicking the helpful button below!

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO

John@Hoganhospitality.com    Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness

 

A focused look at the path to success – recommended reading

This book is a good logic forward and rocks and Dan Heath, coauthor of SWITCH, who uses examples of how Chris Rock perfected his comedy routines through months of , at times, painful performances.

The premise of the book is based on fact and experience of shared by many of us. There are references to youth, including practice of learning piano, a new language and sports. A reality for many of us remains from those focused efforts to study and practice along the way.

The authors use examples of legendary college coach John Wooden of UCLA and his almost fanatical commitment and the definition of success. He found success come from “old fashioned, well orchestrated, intentionally executed, carefully planned practice.”

The book is not meant for athletic coaches, but rather primarily for teachers. The author identifies 42 separate rules that are brief and focused. They often use sports or youth images, but they are not about play.

The sections of the book are as follows, with each having 5 – 6 short sub headers or rules:

* Rethinking practice

* How to practice

* using modeling

* Feedback

* Culture of practice

* Post practice: making new skills stick

* The Monday morning test

I did not care for the information in appendix A or B. I was an adjunct professor for 20 years at three different colleges and have taught thousands of professional workshops and these activities were just not on target from my perspective.

The closing comments on the books back cover share some very positive messages. They remind us that while we live in competition loving culture, our success is very likely to come from practice more than from just games.

Recommended.

As always, feedback is appreciated.

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO

John@Hoganhospitality.com    Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness

A Different Type of Recommended Reading!

Younger Next Week: Your Ultimate Rx to Reverse the Clock, Boost Energy and Look and Feel Younger in 7 Days

 

This book is written by someone who has a different focus on diet, attitude and health. The author, Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN seems to target those of us over 40 who are looking to address their fitness, weight and approaches to health.

Younger Next Week: Your Ultimate Rx to Reverse the Clock, Boost Energy and Look and Feel Younger in 7 Days

The book is in 3 main sections:

1. 2 chapters of “check your vital signs”

2. 8 chapters of “the vitality program, with common sense answers and approaches on items from fats to vitamins to caffeine

3. 3 chapters of “vitality for life” that offer a weekly plan, recipes and menu ideas

There is a glossary and four appendixes that offer additional specific insights, mainly aimed at women.

My bride and partner called this a “solid reference book” that uses a point system for different food groups. Zied is a Registered Dietitian, and her book provides a resource of nutritional information. Rather than a system that counts calories in diets that seldom have lasting stamina, this approach tackles more on the values and results.

To the point and logical!

As always, feedback is appreciated.

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO

John@Hoganhospitality.com    Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness

7 Practical Steps on MBWA

                           7 Practical Steps on MBWA:  Hotel Common Sense 
I was looking at some of my earlier articles written for hospitality publications and realized how well this one was received. Interesting to me that while so much in our businesses has changed, so much remains within our control to influence.

An earlier article used one of Tom Peters and Robert Waterman’s fundamentals from their groundbreaking book on changing the ways we do business.  IN SEARCH OF EXCELLENCE introduced a formal name for what the more successful hospitality managers already knew about motivating their staff. The phrase “Management by Walking Around” was based on Hewlett-Packard’s commitment to their staff with interaction – not micromanagement, but ongoing listening and responding to staff ideas.

Hotel Common Sense – Philosophy #2 , Or, why the Open Door policy no longer works… article outlined how today’s workforce wants and needs to be considered as individuals who can contribute to the success of their organization.

Reader feedback showed the growing awareness to that need for additional management and leadership “active listening” and this follow-up message on MBWA offers some concrete ways to notch up that effort of positive involvement.

1. Allow your staff to share complete stories and messages.  Many hospitality companies are trying to improve their customer care programs, yet how often do leaders and managers actually ask an hourly staff member to share a story about either an unhappy or very satisfied guest? Listening to the entire story could provide best practices that might be substantially more effective and less expensive than hiring a consultant.

2. Avoid the tendency to interrupt.   General Managers are results oriented people who are looking for the bottom line.  I know from personal experience the tendency to “hurry” people along is there, but allowing people to share the entire experience will encourage them to be more open.

3. Remember eye contact in conversations.  One of my first mentors taught me a great deal about hospitality, but his habit of looking over my shoulder when we were talking always made me feel I was missing something. Give confidence to people with your eyes.

4. Collect and communicate these stories of success (and failures). Sharing these stories (appropriately) at meetings of all staff, at training sessions, in newsletters and more provides an incentive to people to want to contribute because they have learned that you really do care. I have seen some outstanding examples of “you tube” like testimonials from a number of hospitality companies of all sizes.

5. Remember this is not a game of “one-up.”  As General Managers, we have likely been in the business longer or heard more stories and it is important to recognize that we should not try to offer one “better” story than the one we are hearing. Remember, MBWA is about “active listening.”

6. Credit the source.  When we add a new resource, form or best practice to our hospitality membership site, we obtain permission first and then always make certain we credit them fully. Each of us has unique approaches, messages and talents and sharing the credit with our associates and guests is essential to moving forward.

7. Build trust by honestly listening.  Some (correction, many) of the best suggestions I have ever heard as a manager or executive came from the people who are performing the job. I learned more about laundry sorting, washing pots and up-selling from people who were proud to be successful at what they were doing. Some of those suggestions needed clarification and some were not told as quickly as I might have preferred, but building teams means using all the team members’ strengths.

HOTEL COMMON SENSE was a phrase I learned from a great independent Vermont hotelier a generation ago,

Keys to Success Hospitality  Tip of the Week:

Focus on MBWA 

A challenge to every manager who is responsible for 5 or more people: measure your in and out of the office time and at the end of the week, see how much time you spent ACTIVELY INTERACTING with your team.

The goal is 70% of your time out of the office – how did you do?

What will you do next week?

As always, feedback is appreciated.

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO

John@Hoganhospitality.com    Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness

For your reading consideration: Thoughtful and a Bit of Business History

For your reading consideration: Thoughtful and a Bit of Business History –             MAKING THE WORLD BETTER -the ideas that shaped a company & a century

I was surprised to see so many IBM retired and former employees reviewing and quoted in this book, but on reflection that makes sense. IBM for the past 100 years now has played a major role in the evolution of both US and global business history.

The book at times is a bit too anecdotal for the person who may not be a techie or who may not care about the details of some of the IBM story but overall it hits the mark.

In the three major sections, they cover:

1. The science – this is the pioneering segment of how to move from the incredible basics to the foundations of meaningful technology for the every day person.

2. Thomas Watson Sr had adopted the slogan “THINK” in 1911 and section 2 addresses the evolution of creating economic value from knowledge. IBM did not do everything “right” but they did help to create the concept of the modern corporation.

3.Making the World Better completes the circle and shares global stories of balancing business, values, ethics and profitability while dealing with governments and greed.

Regardless of how one feels about certain kinds of computers or high tech, this is worth the read.

As always, feedback is appreciated.

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO

John@Hoganhospitality.com    Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness

What is your assessment of the Gillette message: The Best Men Can be?

Watch this 90 second video & share your insights why there are 40% more negative than positive responses to this message about “The Best Men Can Be”?

 

🙏🏼 PLEASE HIT THE LIKE BUTTON IF YOU FOUND THIS ARTICLE HELPFUL

 

As always, feedback is appreciated.

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO

John@Hoganhospitality.com    Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness