Lead with Hospitality’s Leadership CODE (E.D.O.C.)

How do leaders ensure their teams really execute every single day?  In other words, what do great leaders actually do?

Here’s a “coaching code” to remember which will ensure you’re a great coach today, tomorrow, and at any level of leadership you may find yourself in the future.  At its core, leadership is simple.  Balancing all of the principles and human behavior dynamics – some of which we’ve talked about today – is what makes leadership not always easy.

Here’s the CODE.  It’s actually the word CODE backward:

Explain, Demonstrate, Observe, and Coach

Explain – Setting Clear Expectations

The number one driver of performance – your ability to get people to do more, become more, and ultimately deliver more – is to set crystal clear expectations.  

  • Allows work to be completed efficiently, accurately, and productively with fewer mid-stream questions
  • Address and clarify questions or confusion proactively
  • Give others the best possible chance to achieve success

Demonstrate – Show Them How It’s Done

What do we mean by demonstrating and why is it important?

  • Show people how to do the work.
  • Lead by example – walk your talk
  • Be the change you want to see
  • Ensure understanding
    • So, people can execute; taking the team further, quicker

“Don’t wait for people to smile, show them how!”
— Unknown 

Observe – Carve Out Time to Observe

Carve out time to observe their teams in action:

  • Inspect what we expect
  • Listen to customer interactions
  • Stay attuned to interactions with coworkers
    • Empathy – seek to understand how they feel; and feel what they feel

“People do what you inspect, not what you expect.”
— Louis V. Gerstner, American businessman

Coach – Offer Feedback and Praise in the Moment

  • Coaches help us improve, learn, and master new skills
  • Coaches push us in ways we don’t realize we need to be pushed

What comes to mind when you think of a coach?  What do all great coaches give us, whether we want to hear it or not?


It sounds simple and perhaps it’s common sense.  However, the more life we live we realize just how uncommon common sense can be.  Follow this simple “CODE” – E.D.O.C. – Explain, Demonstrate, Observe, and Coach – regardless of your level of leadership, and you’ll be successful in motivating, influencing, and inspiring those on your team to deliver their best work.