Category Archives: Your Career

8 Traits Leaders Must Have

Traits to interview for when looking for true leaders.

Leaders need and must be able to articulate:

-Have ability to manage complexity.

-People who act strategically.

-People who cultivate learning agility. Leaders learn from every situation they are in. Are your candidates?

-Develop personal adaptability.

-Create an environment that fosters innovation.

-Inspire engagement.

-Leverage existing and new networks.

-Have experience and know how to manage global businesses.

Traits come from excellent article by Loise Axon, Elisa Friedman, and Kathy Jordan on ERE Sept. 2, 2015. Article title: Finding Leaders Who Can Take On Today’s Complexities: 8 Capabilities recruiters Should Put on List.

True leaders evaluate prospective employers based on questions that identify leadership abilities and skills from managerial abilities.

How About Hospitality Executive Committee Positions?

Executive committee members on hospitality management teams all need the first 7. Do your interview questions identify if your Executive Committee candidates have the traits? Equally important, has your team identified depth needed on each trait for different Executive Committee positions? How you are or will, measure performance against the traits?


Alternative to Sending Resumes to a Black Hole

When you see positions of interest: Find out who the VP or President are and then just send them brief cover letter asking them questions like:


Saw you are looking for GM.

Have 5 questions for you:

1. What would you do for the hotel with an extra $200,000 on the bottom line?
2. How would the reputation of the hotel improve locally with an extra 5% occupancy and extra $3 in ADR?
3. How would significant improvement on Internet rating sites improve your hotel business?
4. How would the company improve if you had an extra 5 management people trained for promotions with 12 months?
5. If your inspection scores improved at least 10% without spending extra capital.

Can I do those things for you? I don’t know until we talk. I’ve done them in the past. (Only 2 employers in last 20 years.)

If I can’t help I likely know someone who can, based on your objectives.

I can be reached at 540.429.6119 mornings before 10.


(Your name)”

Key is arresting thinking of the person you are reaching out to. They have to stop, mentally switch gears. Just send something like the above. Don’t include your resume.

If they send email back asking you to send your resume or for you to contact HR. Respond with something like following:


Thanks for requesting my resume. Based on that request I don’t believe I would be interested. We have no idea at this time if we “fit.” A 5 minute phone conversation can identify that.

Resume doesn’t tell you anything about the way I think, how I manage, my approach to opportunities, or what my employees think of me. Or how customers respond.

I’ve been GM/Regional Director for just 2 companies in last 20 years. Obviously I’m qualified.

I just don’t believe in wasting time…for either of us. You should want GM that efficiently manages his/her self and the employees at your hotel. Email communications are important at times but they can also be great way to procrastinate and avoid decisions.


(Your name)”

If you don’t hear back you will know you dodged a bullet. They would rather hide behind paper trail than solve problems. (You are on LinkedIn. If they are really interested they can learn about you.)

Good chance they will call you.

Since normal has not been working, try this approach. At least it puts control of the process back into your hands.

New Look to Hotel Industry Impacts Your Career

Hotel News Now, 4/15/15 had excellent panel discussion on how hotel industry has changed and what it means for owners.

The build and hold philosophy rarely works when brands require $2-3 MM in capital every 3-4 years. Owners are forced to turn properties. Likelihood of getting $2-3 MM back plus additional profit is unlikely.

That totally changes how business is managed.

  • Hotels require strategic thinking as well as operational thinking. Exit strategies are now as important as positioning strategy. Of course day-to-day operations are important, but they are only part of the equation to maximize the return on the asset.
  • Strategy is now changing how hotels are built. Why build it to last 100 years if you are going to sell it in 3 years. Strategy is also changing on renovations.  Owners no longer want to do one capital project a year when brands may change rules just after the project is done. Now owners want to wait until they know what the brands are demanding.
  • Guests used to compare hotels to home. Now they are comparing home to hotels. Guests expect hotels to be more technologically efficient than the guest is at home.
  • Owners are now doing better job using the napkin test. If it doesn’t pencil out on back of napkin, based on simple cost analysis, odds are it won’t pencil out using more detailed and sophisticated tools.
What does this mean for your career?

When you are interviewing look carefully at the physical hotel. Is it up to date? Getting tired?

ASK: When is your next pip planned? What importance do you place on keeping the brand? When does your franchise agreement come up for renewal?

If they look at you with a blank stare  talk about the above and mention part of your decision is based on likelihood the brand on the hotel will be downgraded. Good companies will welcome these questions and your perceived value to them will rise. If you get body language that indicates they didn’t like you asking, odds are you have hit the nail on the head. It’s unlikely they will help your career. Think long and hard about any offer they make.

Your interviewing needs to evolve as the industry is evolving.

Talent Metrics

Dr. John Sullivan had good article on Predictive Analytics in Mar 9th issue of

Here’s very brief synopsis.

Initial efforts in predictive analytics concentrated on:

  • Identifying employees likely to leave.
  • Identifying  which factors predict on-the-job performance.
  • Forecasting when employee survey scores will begin to impact productivity.
    What’s Needed Next?
  • Identifying how talent actions impact profits.
  • Identifying ways to identify and project ways to improve revenue per employee.
  • Developing an easy-to-compare index to measure performance.
  • Developing a metric that identifies the replacement cost on individual employees and positions.
  • Predicting coming productivity issues.
  • Coming up with a metric to identify employee behavioral issues.
  • Plotting career trajectory of new hires and existing employees.
  • Identifying factors that impact manager success.
  • Likewise the factors that identify leaders and leadership capabilities.
  • Metric identifying factors that predict an innovator.
  • Plus several others.

You get the idea, industry, unions, schools, and all levels of government need to do a much better job of identifying the characteristics needed to hire and then keep good employees. Many companies have identified the above for select positions. There’s a need to step back and identify trends that impact more than a single position or job classification.


Very few companies have real training programs. At the same time the educational level of public school students in US continues to drop. (Last I saw US was ranked 12th in the world. Wasn’t too many years ago we were ranked first.) World is becoming much more technology reliant and that is going to require different skill sets and different ways to measure productivity.

Unless industry, government, schools and unions develop better metrics and then apply them to ALL employees we will have fewer and fewer people available to do the jobs necessary. That in turn will:

-drive wages up fast,
-further the spread between classes
-Increase the percentage of permanently unemployed and under-employed.

Result will be reduced  innovation and profit margins.

10 Reasons to Hire an American Veteran

1.  Accelerated learning curve.
Veterans have the proven ability to learn new skills and concepts. In addition, they can enter your workforce with identifiable and transferable skills, proven in real world situations. This background can enhance your organization’s productivity.
2. Leadership.
The military trains people to lead by example as well as through direction, delegation, motivation and inspiration. Veterans understand the practical ways to manage behaviors for results, even in the most trying circumstances. They also know the dynamics of leadership as part of both hierarchical and peer structures.
3. Teamwork.
Veterans understand how genuine teamwork grows out of a responsibility to one’s colleagues. Military duties involve a blend of individual and group productivity. They also necessitate a perception of how groups of all sizes relate to each other and an overarching objective.
4.    Diversity and inclusion in action.
Veterans have learned to work side by side with individuals regardless of diverse race, gender, geographic origin, ethnic background, religion and economic status as well as mental, physical and attitudinal capabilities. They have the sensitivity to cooperate with many different types of individuals.
5.    Efficient performance under pressure.
Veterans understand the rigors of tight schedules and limited resources. They have developed the capacity to know how to accomplish priorities on time, in spite of tremendous stress. They know the critical importance of staying with a task until it is done right.
6.    Respect for procedures.
Veterans have gained a unique perspective on the value of accountability. They can grasp their place within an organizational framework, becoming responsible for subordinates’ actions to higher supervisory levels. They know how policies and procedures enable an organization to exist.
7.    Technology and globalization.
Because of their experiences in the service, veterans are usually aware of international and technical trends pertinent to business and industry. They can bring the kind of global outlook and technological savvy that all enterprises of any size need to succeed.
8. Integrity.
Veterans know what it means to do “an honest day’s work.” Prospective employers can take advantage of a track record of integrity, often including
security clearances. This integrity translates into qualities of sincerity and trustworthiness.
9.    Conscious of health and safety standards.
Thanks to extensive training, veterans are aware of health and safety protocols both for themselves and the welfare of others. Individually, they represent a drug- free workforce that is cognizant of maintaining personal health and fitness. On a company level, their awareness and conscientiousness translate into protection of employees, property and materials.
10. Triumph over adversity.
In addition to dealing positively with the typical issues of personal maturity, veterans have frequently triumphed over great adversity. They likely have proven their mettle in mission critical situations demanding endurance, stamina and flexibility. They may have overcome personal disabilities through strengths and determination.

Above thanks to Martin Mongiello, GM of The Inn of the Patriots and the Presidential Culinary Museum.

Don’t use these 4 words in your resume. recently had an article about 5 words to avoid using in your resume.

‘Experienced’-If you want to use this term be specific on how/where you are experienced. Show how you are experienced. That’s meaningful to prospective employers.

‘Hard working’ Let your successes and accomplishments show that you are hard working. Employers assume you are hard working.

Your resume needs to demonstrate leadership, don’t just list leadership as an attribute.

‘Responsible’ is another word to avoid in your resume. People want to know what you have done, not what you have attempted. Tell readers how many you were responsible for and the key accomplishment.

‘Team player’ You are expected to be a team player.  Your resume needs to explain what your team actually did.


Refer to Article Search Directory,  Feb. 6, 2014 for the complete article.

Turn Every Option into Opportunity

Every day we have opportunities to turn contacts into opportunities. We may be working room at an event or conference, on business appointment, or just create an opportunity for a chance encounter with someone we don’t know.  We never know when an introduction or contact will generate unexpected business.

Laura Schwartz, author and former Director of Events during the Clinton Administration,  described Clinton as excellent multitasker. But when it was time to meet people he totally focused on the people in front of him. He referred to it as “It’s showtime.” She says”We must be present to win. When we’re present, we’re going to learn more and give more and that’s when we will have the moment that will change our lives.

Focus on what you can do for the person you are talking to. Don’t think about what that person can do for you. Until you listen carefully you won’t know what either of you can do for each other. Laura said Larry King used to say “I never learned anything when I was talking.” Listening allows us to gather information. That can fuel ideas and potential working relationships.

Two key points she makes:

  •  “Meetings and events are most effective way to communicate messages.”
  • “We do not host events. We host guests.”


Laura Schwartz was Director of Events during the Clinton Administration.There she was responsible for more than 1,000 White House events. Today she is professional speaker, television commentator, master of ceremonies for non-profit events, and author of Eat, Drink, and Succeed.

Above from cover story in Feb. 2104 Smart Meetings.

Are You Making a Difference?

The quality of your skills, and the skills of the people you help hire determine the profits, innovation, and long term success of your company.

You have a direct impact. Ahh, the power you can wield! That’s the point. You can make a very strong impact on your company, even if you are in an admin position. But are you?

HR has a huge role in hiring. The case can be made that HR is ultimately responsible if a business does not meet their revenue or profit targets. Sharp HR people understand this, even if most in their company do not.

How do you influence your company?

A manager asks you to find an employee. Do you recognize this as an opportunity to make your company better? Or is it just something else you need to do?

Finding the best employees has a huge role in sales and profits. Do you recognize this new assignment as the most important thing you have to do today? Do you immediately stop what you are doing to start recruiting? Do you recognize this as your starring role that can lead to an Academy Award from your employer? You have not had to audition. You’ve been given the role. Congratulations!

Stop. Picture yourself as Employee of the Year. Receiving the congratulations from fellow employees. Accepting the award. Telling your friends and family.

What are your primary duties in HR?

Take a look at your job description. (I know, it’s got to be the most boring document you have ever read. But take the time to read it carefully.)

Check off the 3 duties on your job description that have the greatest impact on profits and sales? Are you spending 80% of your time on those 3 duties?

Remember the 80/20 rule? 80% of the contribution you make to a job, comes from 20% of your duties/responsibilities. That means, 80% of your time should be devoted to 20% of your duties. Most people in HR spend 80% or more of their time on the 80% of their duties that contribute almost nothing. It’s an easy trap to fall into. “I’ll just finish this report and get it off my desk.” Or, “I’ll process these performance evaluations from the last month.”

HR Departments seem to be magnets when it comes to attracting paperwork (electronic or real paper.)

How do you escape the “paperwork” trap?

Next 4 hours, each time you pick up a piece of paper (electronic or real) ask yourself if that piece of information will ever be looked at again. If the answer is “no” or “not likely” then that piece of information needs to be processed (not just stored) electronically. You should never have to see that piece of information unless it needs to be accessed to address a specific situation.

Ok, you’ve identified all the stuff that’s bogging you down. That’s preventing your success.

Now what?

Pick one item from your list, any one. Sit down with your technology department or your boss and figure out how that piece of information can be processed electronically. How much time per day, week, or month will be saved? Now devote that time to the most important 20% of your job.

Just streamline one aspect of your job a week. You will be amazed at how quickly you will have more time to spend on activities that will get you promoted, get you raises, and get you recognition.

Get started today.

Building Effective Recruiting Talent Communities

Lots of followers is not an effective way to build a talent community on social media.

The goal of any recruiting strategy should be to build a reliable, repeatable source of hires. Lots of people, simply means lots of people. The key is the quality of people the talent community attracts and whether they are qualified for the jobs available.

Job boards have a very, very, low ratio of hires to people reading their ads. Most social sites for employment have even lower ratios.

How you engage your talent community determines whether it will be effective or not.

The most effective recruiting talent communities are small, communities built around the culture of your company and the skills needed for the jobs you typically need to fill. A talent community should not be designed to fill every position, only those positions that need to be filled frequently.

There are more effective recruiting techniques to use for the ‘once in a while job vacancies.’

Building effective recruiting talent communities requires you, or someone in your company, to consistently spend time cultivating the desired talent community. That means keeping your talent community apprised of happenings in your company. What coming needs are likely to be. Opportunities and challenges. Etc.

Talent Community Rule of Thumb

Spend as much time communicating with your talent community as you spend communicating with your best friend. That takes time. Concentrate that time on the jobs most frequently vacant. Develop information to attract highly skilled people to those jobs.

Lots of jobs available in lots of different positions.
What do you do when you are faced with major hiring challenges over an extended period of time? Build smaller talent communities within your overall community. This may be by Department, brand, or geographical areas. The smaller the talent community, the easier it is to communicate and engage people. It’s much easier to talk about specifics than broad generalities. Create opportunities for people within your community to interact with each other.

Key to Engagement
Offer something to keep people coming back. It can be prizes, games, recognition. People participate in social communities to get something they want or need. Simply offering a job now and then doesn’t keep people coming back.

It isn’t complicated!
Building a recruiting talent community is not difficult.

1. Identify the jobs you need to recruit for. Can they be addressed with one talent community, or do you need sub-communities?

2 Identify the skills and management style that ideally mesh with your company.

3. Identify where on the Internet the people you want to attract hang out. Is it Ladders? LinkedIn? If on Twitter or Facebook, where on those sites? Other sources? Talk to your employees in the jobs you need and ask them where they spend their professional time on social networks.

4. Communicate at least weekly to your talent community and to each sub-community. Distribute press releases. Announce promotions. Tell people about business marketing successes. Send a link to an article to benefit their career (and expand their skills to make them more desirable to your company. Etc.

The communication step shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes per sub-community per week. Engage your best employees to help.

Looking for a New Career Opportunity?

Seek out social talent communities that match your skills and interests. Actively participate in them. The better prospective employers understand your talents, the more interested they become. Communicate your successes. Offer suggestions.