The GM I’ll never be

The GM I?ll never be

Let’s admit it — GMs get a bad rap sometimes. People think we sit on our mightier-than-thou throne, barking orders, playing golf and getting good deals at other hotels. I was thinking about some of the stereotypes and misperceptions and thought I’d share my roster of things that I will not let myself become. Let’s call it “The GM I’ll Never Be” list.  

The “it’s-beneath-me” GM: This doesn’t mean I am making beds, cleaning dishes and changing light bulbs. (I am doing these things at home, because my wife will never let me be the “it’s-beneath-me” husband.) What it means is that if I had to do it, I would. I don’t and won’t ask my team to do something that I myself wouldn’t do. In fact, I’ve probably done 75% of their jobs in the course of my career. I won’t sit on a pedestal; in fact, my office is in the basement.  

The “I-am-never-wrong-so-don’t-even-go-there” GM: I can admit when I am wrong. You might have to point it out, but go ahead and do it. I am not an expert at everything, and I am happy to hear a better way to do something. Quite frankly, most of the best ideas for The Benjamin usually come from the line staff. As I like to say, if I’m not listening, I’m failing.

The “golf-steak dinner-and-never-in-the-hotel” GM: I spend about 50% of my “awake” hours in the hotel. I like to golf as much as the next guy, but I have a thing called a hotel to run, and I’m here doing it (my 17 handicap is proof of that, and that’s probably an exaggeration). Plus, my team would see right through me if I pulled this stunt too often. Sure, we go out with clients, but that’s the minority of what we do.  

The “hide-in-the office-and-you-handle-it” GM: Problems and mistakes happen in every hotel in the world. You can’t hide from them and let your staff take the fall; it’s just not fair. Stand up tall, take responsibility, apologize and use it as a training tool for your staff. Hiding in the office and having someone else take the heat for my hotel cannot and will not happen. If anything, I’d prefer to take all of the bullets to spare my team taking the hit. Oh, by the way, when was your last housekeeping/room inspection walk through?? (Busted!!)

Above are just a few of the pet peeves I have about behaviors that happen in our business. I am curious to hear some of yours, as I am sure there are many more. Please let me know — I am sure we can compile quite the list.