One of the hardest things I have ever done in my career in Hospitality came when I was promoted to manage the team that I was a part of in my Hotel. It happened after a major corporate acquisition prompted my own Hotel Manager at the time to take a redundancy offer. Friday I was part of the team, and Monday I was the Hotel Manager (read on or watch the video). It was one of the most difficult and stressful experiences of my career….

…. Thinking back, there was no support. There were clear actions I could have taken – actions that no one told me about at the time – that could have made this transition smoother for me and my team. But, there was nobody around to help ….

I Simply did not Recognise what a Huge Change was Happening…

If you’re in a good Hotel organisation, you’ll get lots of support and mentoring from the leadership team. But even if you have great support, to be successful, you must recognise what a huge impact this promotion will have on your relationships with your team – You have to go from being a peer to being the Hotel Manager. Although it’s exciting, also remember you have a lot of work to do to establish yourself and your authority in this new role.

I Simply did not Recognise what a Huge Change was Happening…

I Should have had a Conversation with the Team. I should have called my new team together to set expectations and talk about how we will work going forward. I should have reminded the team how we’re familiar with each other’s work, the Hotel, and the organisation. That would have been good. I should have told them that the way I would work and handle situations will look differently to the way they have done in the past. I would now be the Hotel Manager. I should let them know that initially, this may be weird and uncomfortable for everyone – but in the end, I was confident it would be a win for the entire Hotel. I should have asked for their support, confidence, and trust, and pledged them mine, as well.

I Simply did not Recognise what a Huge Change was Happening…

I Should have more clearly Adapted my Day-to-Day Behaviour from Peer to Hotel Manager. As exhilarating as this Change was in many ways, it also meant I couldn’t be part of the Team like I had been. For example, indulging in Hotel gossip was never a good practice to begin with, but as Hotel Manager, it’s even more taboo.

I should have more clearly recognised that there’s a fine line between being warm and friendly to your Team members and being their friend. I could be warm and friendly, but don’t forget what my new role now really was.

I Simply did not Recognise what a Huge Change was Happening…

I Should have more clearly Determined How I would Manage Resistance. When I became Hotel Manager, some of my employees expected me to magically fix all of the situations we’d previously decided were issues around the Hotel.

Some of my Team purposefully sought to challenge me and thwart my every chances of success. It’s not pleasant, but it’s a realistic part of the process that I should have anticipated and prepared for as I became a Hotel Manager.

At some point, if certain members of my staff couldn’t accept my leadership, they may need to find a Hotel that’s a better fit? And it’s OK to let them know that.

I Simply did not Recognise what a Huge Change was Happening…

I should have Found a Mentor and Confidante. Whether I was in an Hotel with good support for this kind of a transition or not, finding a strong Mentor is key. I should have found someone who could offer me unbiased listening, feedback, and suggestions.

But, I should not Forget, over time, what felt like an awkward and uncomfortable transition from Hotel Worker to Hotel Manager grew into a rich and rewarding Hotel Management experience.

Despite not Recognising what a Huge Change was Happening…I now had a great story to look back on.

Leave a Reply