Get Motivated!

This past week, I was in Manhattan attending the semi-annual meeting for the Certification Commission of AH&LA’s Educational Institute. It was encouraging to learn that the number of people earning certifications on many levels are again increasing and there are a number of new programs to be launched in 2011.

One of the other events we attended was the Niagara University Hospitality program “meet and greet” held annually at the Waldorf Astoria. Hilton is one of the major hospitality companies that hires graduates each year from Niagara and this event allows one-on-one interaction between industry leaders and some of the students who are about to graduate.

This was probably the 5th time Kathleen Hogan (Publisher of and I have attended and we were again impressed by the rising generation of hospitality professionals. The interest levels of the students embraces all parts of the industry and a number of them have clear goals in mind for the future. If you are looking for new talent – consider these graduates. Kathleen interviewed several and will be including their perspectives on the changing industry in an upcoming HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS column on students’ experiences on internships.

On a related item about learning, earlier this year, I had the opportunity to attend a GET MOTIVATED program held in our city. The organization, celebrating their 25th anniversary, featured a number of well-known people, including Zig Ziglar, Steve Forbes, Laura Bush, Kurt Warner and others.

The stated goal of these programs is to provide ideas and perhaps some inspiration for attendees to increase their productivity, their income and their overall levels of satisfaction.

While I enjoyed a number of the messages, one that particularly influenced me was the one by former New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani. His talk was not what he felt were his accomplishments in life, but what he felt he had learned. He did not talk about his potential political plans or projections on upcoming elections, but instead shared a number of things he felt were essential to effective leadership.

1. Read more, so that one can learn about things new to you.
2. Listen more, rather than talk. The results can be amazing.
3. Debate when necessary – it is important to be challenged and for you to be able to defend your strategy and approaches to problems.
4. Write more, so your communication skills continue to evolve.
5. Finally, he shared what was the mantra and strategy for IBM for many years – to THINK. Do not accept the status quo if it can be improved, but learning about the status quo means assessing it and thinking about options.

Several weeks ago, I included in one of my columns in this publication a short book review of Holiday Inns’ founder Kemmons Wilson. I received some positive feedback from a number of readers who appreciated my comments on HALF LUCK, HALF BRAINS and for including Wilson’s 20 Tips for Success.

Blending the reader feedback with my recollection of Giuliani’s comments created the focus of this short article. I personally do read a great deal and wanted to share with readers an easy to follow theme with a book with a title that is right on the money.

In Their Time: The Greatest Business Leaders of the Twentieth Century
By Anthony J. Mayo, Nitin Nohria

I expected that a book on business leadership published by the Harvard Business School would be solid reading and I was anticipating the traditional 10 Best with honorable mentions. I was very pleased to find MUCH more – 10 chapters reflecting the 10 decades with excellent insights to the world at large and how people thought at the time and looking ahead.

This book describes 100 people in many different roles, industries and with varying perspectives. I have found that there is always so much more to reflect on and this book provides some excellent ideas that can be considered and modeled. While most of the people and ideas are not directly in hospitality, they are mostly about meeting needs and satisfying people, which is the foundation of delivering hospitality well

As always, comments are appreciated and welcome. Reader feedback is important to every columnist and publication. If I receive more positive comments on this type of message, I will include some in my columns and blog.

Keys to Success Hospitality Tip of the Week:
Hotel Common Sense Philosophy #10
“Study other winners, but not just those in your field.”
Dr. John Hogan CHE CHA CMHS

Part of the Fifteen Timeless Philosophies in Hospitality
A 2011 Keynote Address and Workshop

Feel free to share an idea for a column at anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.
Your Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations

There should be no such thing as “limited service” in hotels or hospitality

In the guides published by the American Automobile Association, there are a number of classifications for lodging types.  By AAA definition, they include general descriptions of differing levels of food/beverage outlets, shops, conference/meeting facilities, ranges of recreation, entertainment options.  The descriptions give an overview of size of the properties and an overview of common characteristics.

In general their range of classifications include:

  • Full Service,  with Resorts and Hotels  in this category.
  • Limited Service include Condominiums, Motor Inns, Apartments, Cottage, Motels and Bed and Breakfasts
  • Moderate Service listings include Ranches, Country Inns and Lodges.
  • Further sub-classifications include: Suite, extended stay, historic and classic properties.

We are certainly not trying to challenge AAA overviews, as their intent is to provide meaningful interpretations of so many kinds of options. Their guides further point out the basis of their various diamond ratings.  AAA has done a commendable job trying to explain the differences to the consumer and they do so substantially in product differentiation.

A major problem comes though, in our opinion , in the phrase  “limited service” versus “full service”.  Full service usually implies those hotels with restaurants, lounges,  meeting rooms and other product amenities.

The phrase “lodge” or “bed and breakfast” implies by name alone certain things to certain travelers, yet obviously these phrases alone do not mean enough. For example, by AAA definitions, bed and breakfast establishments are “usually smaller, owner operated establishment emphasizing an “away-from-home feeling”.  A continental or full, hot breakfast is included.

Many ROOMS ONLY establishments also serve breakfast and many have at least smaller meeting space, ranging from suites to meeting areas,  breakfast rooms, etc.  They have van drivers who act as bellman. They have management team members who are outstanding hosts and hoteliers.

Former AH&LA Small Business Specialist Jerrold Boyer used to become very frustrated with managers who embraced the term “limited service.”  He used to remind hoteliers at educational and advisory seminars that the hospitality industry is indeed the SERVICE industry.  His word of caution was that bigger did not necessarily mean better, nor did smaller automatically mean lesser.

There are many smaller, rooms-only properties that offer exceptional personalized attentiveness to their guests.  It is the responsibility of the managers, owners and sales staff of those facilities to “sell” their staff and guests of the quality and extent of their service.  There are many guests  who might prefer smaller properties and staffs who elect to leave food operations to others.

If this industry is to continue to provide exceptional experiences for its guests and meaningful careers for its’ staff, it must be attentive to its commitment to hospitality and not just “renting rooms.”

“Limited service” – let’s leave that image for the self-serve gas stations.

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Blog of Dr. John Hogan CHE CHA MHS 8.14.2010 ,

 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 ( of successful corporate and academic mentors delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing the hospitality industry. is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas that are designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.   Special introductory 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.