Authentic leadership is an important style of leadership in the hospitality and tourism industry. This industry is dynamic and is composed of many different departments working together towards a common goal. This line of career requires teamwork, open communication, interpersonal relationship management, and innovation. Good leaders need to ensure that different hospitality groups are aligned and the organizational culture is healthy. Workers who are committed need to be able to trust the company’s leader. Therefore it is imperative that leadership is authentic and embraces all the honest values that drive the company to success. Authentic leadership helps to reinforce employee confidence, trust, loyalty, commitment, and drive to succeed. Here we observe and analyze how different characteristics and traits of authentic leadership are advantageous to the hospitality industry as compared to the traditional bureaucratic style of leadership.
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An authentic leader reflects upon all of their actions and decisions and examines their own leadership strengths and weaknesses without any bias. They put in a lot of effort to overcome their fears and use their strengths to the maximum. In any career in the hospitality industry, self-awareness ability is an integral part of success. The person must be able to assess his own strengths and weaknesses in a neutral, unbiased way so that he can build on his strengths and eliminate his weaknesses. Some managers may have fear when it comes to dealing with customers, while others may lack interpersonal skills. The ability to understand and take action to improve on these aspects of management are integral for a successful career in hospitality tourism, where communication needs to be clear and focused while establishing a healthy working culture within the organization is an absolute must.
A true leader develops a sense of empathy and understanding towards his fellow employees as well as to customers. Establishing any healthy relationship requires looking at the situation from their point of view. Customers enjoy talking with staff who understand their problems and take action to fix them as if they were their own problems. In the hospitality and tourism industry, there would be many instances in which customers require help and guidance. It is absolutely necessary that the manager takes his customers’ problems into the heart and give full importance to fixing any issues that may trouble them. Clients appreciate people who help them, and the problem becomes an opportunity for brands to show their quality and demonstrate their superior value. Clients who have problems are well taken care of through quick response and direct communication which leads them to become satisfied customers in the long run. They may also recommend to other potential clients as well .
It is important that managers working in the hospitality tourism industry take a long-term view when it comes to dealing with staff and customers. Patience and full care in handling them need to be prioritized. Employees who are well taken care of become loyal to the organization, and they also become part of a healthy working force. Top management needs to give priority to integrity, transparency, honesty, and fairness because these are values that view success in the long run. It happens too often that companies are willing to compromise their integrity and fairness for quick financial gains. Over time, these companies gradually lose the trust of their stakeholders and fare worse compared to their competitors. Success comes with hard work, not through shortcuts and shady activities.
Integrity is a value that is essential in the tourism industry because it involves teamwork and trust. People recognize integrity and respect managers who are honest, ethical, moral, transparent, and consistent. Authentic leaders have to be open to listening. Good listeners do not just mean to listen carefully, but also means to accept opposing viewpoints and ideas. Employees and subordinates trust and respect leaders and managers who are willing to listen to their side of the story. Sometimes it is not their fault that certain problems or issues arise, therefore it is essential that leaders do not always make customers the ones who are always right. Sometimes the problem comes from the customers themselves rather than the employees. Additionally, authentic leaders need to resolve difficult problems in a way that satisfies all the parties involved. The customers should leave feeling that management has dealt with the issue in a just and fair manner, and the workers should also feel the same way, while also receiving support and getting the benefit of the doubt in certain situations. Integrity serves to build commitment and loyalty from employees, this, in turn, drives the company to strive for excellence.
The hospitality tourism industry is a dynamic, ever-changing landscape which is always open to technology and innovation. Authentic leaders have to develop the necessary insights from other experts, develop the proper networks to obtain valuable information, and make informed decisions that reflect upon both the present and the future.
Furthermore, it is imperative that any success obtained be shared with co-workers, the team needs to come before the individual. The hospitality tourism industry is a field that involves many players from different departments working together towards a common goal. The success such as acquiring new clients or opening new channels to income should be credited to the entire group rather than to the leader of the group. It is the responsibility of the leader to give credit to his/her team.
In order to improve for the future, leaders need to be constructive when expressing criticisms, suggestions, and ideas. People working in the hospitality industry are bound to make mistakes in certain areas, whether in terms of customer management or service. It is important that the manager ensures that workers make corrections and improvements, not by damaging criticisms, but by careful constructive comments that help them to see the errors in their ways. Leaders who show that they care about the person receiving the criticism are viewed in a positive light, they get the respect that is rewarding in the long run. At times, the issue may be sensitive. These topics should be dealt with in a careful manner, making sure that it is not offensive nor insensitive.
Hospitality and tourism is an industry that is open to innovation and development of new ideas and services. It is vital that the manager keeps a clear, unbiased view about each new service or product being pitched. The new product or service must solve practical problems, and not create new ones. A realistic, grounded view is necessary to keep goals and corporate objectives clearly defined and achievable. New strategic or financial goals must be based on real numbers and clear initiatives to achieve them, otherwise, it’ll simply be a “pie-in-the-sky” idea. A new objective that is too difficult to achieve or does not have any clear approach towards achieving it would be uninspiring and therefore damaging to team morale.
A crucial element within leadership is being able to delegate decision-making and responsibility to subordinates or others in the team. The hospitality and tourism industry is a vast field that integrates several aspects of work from marketing to customer service management. It is imperative that managers in this field are skilled in delegating jobs and tasks to workers who are experts in the field. The leader must be able to delegate the right jobs to the right people, and not try to micro-manage the project himself. Delegating means relying on the knowledge and skills of subordinates, and to trust that they can do a good job. The job of the leader is to inspire, give clear guidance, and to oversee that the project goes according to plan.
From this list of traits and characteristics of various leadership styles, it is evident that leadership roles play an important role in the hospitality service industry when it comes to progressing. Having various qualities of leadership helps to develop employee commitment and loyalty, build a corporate culture based on trust and honesty, inspire the team to strive for success, and helps the company to respond to new problems and developments that may arise in the future.