REFLECTIONS : Flo Cunningham – unexpected lessons learned

Flo Cunningham – unexpected lessons learned

 Flo was a contradiction of the times.

In the mid 1970s, the glass ceiling was very real in much of the hotel business.  At the flagship 1500 room Sheraton Boston hotel, there were no women department heads, sales managers or executives at the time I was a management trainee.  The few supervisory roles filled by women are often in housekeeping or the coffee shop .  This was not considered unusual at the time.

Flo was transferred into the hotel from world headquarters, also in Boston.  A take charge personality, she was strong willed and handled both public relations and special projects.  By watching her from afar, I learned of how interaction was addressed both from and within a corporate home office of a large company.   The support was sometimes appreciated, and sometimes appeared to be meddling.   Flo was focused on achieving results and fitting in with others as appropriate, and I even recall she joined other executives in smoking the occasional cigar.

I was reassigned from Boston to Houston in 1976, and I had  no further interaction with Flo.  I do recall visiting the Sheraton Boston in the last five years and women executives and managers have taken their rightful place in positions of responsibility.

Flo’s example and persistence gave me insights as a trainee not to make first judgments on others too quickly and this lesson has remained with me my entire career.

 

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.

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Recommended Reading from HospitalityEducators.com – Think Big, Act Small:How America’s Best Performing Companies Keep the Start-up Spirit Alive

Think Big, Act Small : How America’s Best Performing Companies Keep the Start-up Spirit Alive 

by Jason Jennings 

Recommended
Comment: “The answer to business success is in the title! 

I have found that a great deal of research does not contribute to the improvement of process or people, but tends to be credited towards tenure or supporting a position already espoused by an organization. The information shared in this book offers a wonderful option to research, in that in provides real world solutions to real world problems.

The Jennings research analyzed more than 100,000 companies to find the characteristics of success that may elude many of us. The group discovered practical approaches to achieving consistency in performance, revenues, team work and results. There are specific action steps that can be evaluated and replicated, which is what I consider the purpose of research.

I had the opportunity to hear a portion of a Jennings keynote once – he is dynamic and interesting.

John Hogan

HoganHospitality com
HospitalityEducators com

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 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. Individuals wishing to contribute 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

Keys to Success Hospitality Tip : Focus on Innkeepers and the Guest Experience

I regularly write on the need to balance “high tech” with “high touch” and recall some of my best learning experiences from mentors who were the “hosts”, with examples shared in  “A Bakers Dozen” of   Strategies for Hotel Restaurant Managers [1]

Kemmons Wilson, founder of Holiday Inns almost 60 years ago, used the term  “Innkeeper”  for the person responsible to operate the hotels that were part of the system.

The organization that was named after a movie has certainly evolved and changed over the years, but the fundamental message about “innkeeping” remains the same for those of us who are passionate about our guests, our staff and the experience of staying at our hotels.

At a time when too much of the industry seems to be assuming that technology is the “automatic answer”, I do still see and find it refreshing to see certain professionals who continue to groom their staff people how to match clients’ needs with hotels’ value, features and benefits.

Kemmons Wilson :  20 Steps for Success

14. Opportunity knocks often.
It knocks as often as you have an ear trained to hear it, an eye trained to see it, a hand trained to grasp it and a head trained to use it.

Wilson had formulas for success I noted were posted at the University of Memphis Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management[2] and Museum.  Please send me a request to john.hogan@hospitalityeducators.com if you’d like a full set of these quotes in a power point presentation.


[1] http://www.hotel-online.com/News/PR2008_4th/Oct08_RestaurantMgrs.html

[2] http://www.memphis.edu/wilson/