Set the example on #MeToo

Steve Wynn’s resignation in early February prompted Wynn Resorts’ stock to rise almost 9%. Perhaps it signaled how fed up even investors have become with alleged abuses by business leaders, and how positive the optics are when there is at least the perception of change for the better – even if it is done so first to support shareholder value.

Steve Wynn has been a master visionary and promoter with a legendary reputation for creating the best in hospitality. His successes cannot be denied. But even legends are not exempt from scrutiny – no matter who is right or wrong. Surely, Wynn knows perception is reality and that there likely is a price to be exacted when the hungry, media-consuming public catches wind of disturbing?allegations. I only hope hotel industry leaders have their eyes wide open as headlines like this become all to frequent during the #MeToo moment, and the moment may not fade anytime soon.

Hotel industry tales of inappropriate behavior have been told far and wide, for ever and a day, and I only hope the current movement significantly moves the needle in the right direction, causing those who are tempted to abuse their power to reconsider their actions.

Now can become the moment to revisit policies, rewrite handbooks and get serious about appropriate behavior on the job. I know a career in the hotel business offers way too much temptation in a world that now all too often is willing to turn the other cheek. But to use a hotel cliché, everyone can turn any situation around and lead by example. It won’t be easy to change engrained industry habits, but that is no excuse.

In fact, industry leadership can take it a step further by better empowering women and minorities who are quite capable of leading. Think of how great it would look; think about how right it would be. Hoteliers spend so much money on creating loyalty when sometimes the perfect opportunity to drastically improve reputation can cost next to nothing.

Take the lead. Be bigger than those who have fallen short. The #MeToo moment screams for introspection, change for the better and higher accountability. What are you willing to do to make sure this happens?

Steve Wynn at a conference in 2014
Steve Wynn at a conference in 2014