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  • Writer's pictureStephan Busch

Humble Elegance & Hospitality! - recognize a clown when you see a clown!

One of the articles I liked last week mentioned the “humble elegance” of real hoteliers and true hotel & hospitality staff. I loved the expression as it pays tribute to the real professionals and separates them from the rest - unfortunately as it seems - still the majority.

What Colin Nagy wrote in the article about hospitality was:

“I’ve truly been blown away by the talent I’ve seen across multiple properties and places around the world. I’ve seen true, quiet professionalism and humble, elegant service.”

(Colin Nagy, Skift , 22.06.2020)

You can only say thanks for the words which show appreciation to so many veterans and young ambitious and good minded young people who join our industry. So many of the young ones are dis - illusionient after a short time. This is what we have to battle and stand up for. The young, the future - at the end - hospitality! And with the Corona excuse even the well trained, experienced veterans are moved to the garbage dump. Are we changing or will we never learn?

Humble the base for excellent service. But how to you teach and coach humble when the fast winning stock market shark cheats more people than the other and thus becomes the hero of society? Leaves the young ones with the Question: Do I want to be a rich hero or a poor but humble guy?

With patience!

It still works! I was fortunate in my life to work and learn from great Maitre’s, GM’s and Colleagues who were humble, elegant and successful. Those guys are great ( they still are !) at what they were doing - real professionals, utterly efficient and a must contact for guest and staff. They never boasted - they never needed to do so. Instead of boasting they used their knowledge, skills and experience to develop staff, create the atmosphere for guest and staff, and turned every place into a profitable but great feeling property and on top of it served their community . An art that many CEO’s of big hotel chains dream to master according to their statements. Seems they ask the wrong people!

Another great example is the Icon Hotel Hong Kong in connection with Hong Kong Polytech University - always in the top ten hotel schools worldwide and the hotel always in the top ten of Hong Kongs hotels. Get that done! - you must be a true hotelier in your heart and an educator, mentor and teacher.

These guys never made the millions of this CEO’s but they managed for sure to make properties great, people - staff and guest alike - more happy, self confident, develop, feeling just good and - I am sure - themselves too!

You will be used

To be humble doesn’t make you rich. In fact you will be used. Used by many to make themselves look better - cash in your credits to move up - and dispose of you if they can. You are humble and professional? You are a great asset to be used - but a threat in the future for this Management clowns. The great thing with this humble, care taking, serving and staff & property developing managers - they don’t give a dam about this! They recognize a clown when they see a clown! They know the limitation of clowns! Most big companies and their HR don’t! That’s what we have to teach - don’t give up values for fast cash. Don’t get depressed - feel the value. Enjoy life - develop everyday yourself and others!

These professionals grow another generation of young professionals who are unfortunately often giving up because the tremendous amount of clowns filling positions in hospitality. Our job today is to keep them in. Fast cash, great balance sheets are for companies that are highly praised like Wirecard (now that was a success? Highly praised venture even by Ernest&Young? From a billion to zero in a week). Real values are honest respect, tolerance, trust, ability to serve for the satisfaction of serving, developing other and helping without asking for a return.

I am blue eyed? Yes but what is better then beautiful blue eyes? Honest people, respect and tolerance, and an open mind? Those are real profits - at the end even turn into cash. Long term - not until the next quarterly balance sheet.

So let's forget about those fast young, career driven manager who don’t care about their staff and for sure not about the guest or the hotel. Those guys only need the balance sheet to look good until the day they move on to damage the next property. We keep it up for them. Of course they will breed another generation of clowns thats why we have to protect and develop the next generation to keep the clowns in balance.

Author: Stephan Busch, Academic Director at the State University for the Humanities Moscow RGGU, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality and the Swiss International University earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA. He has a diverse experience in launching operations, business development and service training- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.,

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