Only 61 percent of people feel a sense of leadership – O.C. Tanner Institute, 2020 Global Culture Report

We’ve all experienced unbelievable service in some way, shape, or form. A great hotel check-in, an incredible dining experience, a bartender with charisma, or perhaps that one call center representative on the other end of the phone who worked his or her magic to solve a problem, averting what would’ve been a crisis. Regardless of the type of experience, the impact of their outstanding service left us feeling amazing.

When we receive great service, we feel so incredibly welcome. Beyond that, we feel an overwhelming sense of appreciation. Consider the fact that appreciation is an emotion. And, the emotional connection we experience when we enjoy great hospitality creates stories worth repeating. It also creates feelings we want to return to over and over, plus it compels us to move and act. 

When you serve your team, doing everything you can to help them become better, more successful, more fulfilled, or even more productive; they’ll appreciate you. When they appreciate you, they’ll give back tenfold. 

A simple act of service changes the game. It turns the tide and creates a sense of meaning and purpose in an otherwise mundane job or situation. The bonus is you’ll have taken another step in leading with hospitality, making them feel welcome in their role and on your team.

Here are four ways to serve your team, your peers, your own leaders, and even your guests, customers, or clients:

  • Listen.  To serve is to provide solutions and to take care of the needs of one’s self or others.  Therefore, in order to serve, we must first understand the need for our service.  The only way to fully understand the need is to listen.
  • Listen to Your Own Intuition.  If you feel something is off, or a different approach might serve your team better, you’re probably on to something. Pay attention to your intuition, and you’ll serve your team well, making sure everyone is focused on doing the right thing.
  • Listen to your own leaders.  Your boss, her boss, and her boss’s boss are in their roles for many reasons. Trust that to some extent, they’ve walked in your shoes, which makes them a viable resource. When you actively listen for feedback, and when you implement it, you’ll serve your team, your leaders, your organization, and even your community well.
  • Listen to your Guests, customers, and clients.  The best brands and best leaders serve people. Whether it’s overdelivering, creating a memorable experience, or adding value in some way. One of the simplest, yet most frequently missed opportunities to serve is to simply listen. 
  • Listen to your team.  When they know you listen, you and your employees will be well-served. Your team will appreciate the shoulder, the ear, and the attention. 
  • Educate:  Always Look for Teachable Moments.  Take an extra five minutes here or half an hour there, to engage and educate your team. Chances are, few leaders have given the people on your team the attention they need and deserve. Invest time to teach. 
  • Take Action.  All talk, and no action is demoralizing. However, backing up a helpful coaching session with specific action steps to drive a team forward is noticed. When you take action, it’s not only contagious, it also builds credibility and trust with those you lead. When you act, your team will act. 
  • Deliver on Your Promise.  Great leaders communicate what they expect to their teams for sure.  They also have the courage to ask their teams what they expect of them, as their leader. It takes humility and a heart for hospitality, to approach leadership as a vessel to serve. Delivering on expectations is one of the best ways to provide great service to your team and a sure-fire way to deliver inspirational leadership.

“Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”  

~ Michelle Obama 

Have a great day.

PS – Pre-order my next book, Lead with Hospitality here. Release date is April 27th, 2021.

I’ve compiled twenty years’ worth of leadership lessons, stories, and applications for how to lead with hospitality and why it makes a difference that matters for everyone in your life, at work, at home, and in your community.