Strathmore School of Tourism and Hospitality

Technology is changing ordinary life in such a way that people are losing soft skills, relational skills, empathy, etc. At the same time, success in human life is much related to success in work. A leader is a hero. But the question is which battle do we have to fight?

Modern culture is giving us a human model of life where individualism is winning this battle. We have to be heroes who always win. There is no space for mistakes or errors. Dependence, vulnerability seem to show our worst side. This way of life depends on an anthropology that does not pay attention to very important human dimensions such as ordinary life, bodily needs, and care about others or care for others.

Sociology of work has also contributed to this image but has also given us a possible answer. At the beginning of the Twentieth Century, Frederick Taylor developed the Scientific Management Theory that reveals a mechanic concept of work: automatic, very specialized and repetitive, without spaces for thinking and for having relations with other workers. In the 80’s of the same century, William Deming’s Total Quality Management began a new approach that basically goes against Taylor’s theory and can reveal a more human notion of work, where our vulnerability can be of advantage. A leader in the hospitality management should take a serious look at these theses and choose which is the most adaptable to his/her business.

Team work is important and so are the details at receiving guests. Comfort and wellbeing do not appear by chance. But there is a keyword: home. Feeling at home away from home implies to serve others in a way that society does not appreciate. It is a challenge, but it makes a real difference. These are some important battles that can reach a victory not only in business but also in society because they give humanity a more human touch. We are not machines; we are not individuals without relations or without a body. We always need care and care means an interest that goes beyond material wellbeing. Technology can do a lot but not everything.

This approach implies a close attention to the culture of a hospitality business, to its vision and mission, and also a well-designed program to coach workers in specific tasks. They should feel the dignity and value of their work and develop some abilities: empathy, service, generosity, etc.

Leadership in hospitality means, a central premise, dedication to innovation and the best quality service so that each guest can feel at home wherever they may travel.