Successful Leaders are Visible Leaders
The best, most successful leaders tend to have two specific qualities: they are both visible to and accessible to all of their people. They are aware that one of their greatest strengths is the relationship with everyone on their team, from their direct reports all the way down to the newest member of the front line team.
One example of this type of leadership is Herb Kelleher, the former CEO of Southwest Airlines, who was know for making 2 a.m. visits to Love Field, the home base of the airline, to thank the Maintenance Crew for their hard work. Another great example is Walt Disney, who had an apartment on Disneyland's Main Street to allow him to oversee the construction of the park and to be accessible to his team. Staying grounded and in touch with our team who create the magic helps us to keep our minds fresh and to stay focused on the reality of what is truly possible!
While I worked at the LuXor in Las Vegas we experienced a period of intense construction. Due to the success of the property there was to be a large expansion as well as substantial renovations to the existing property, including the Attractions Level where I worked. As part of the renovation, the Attractions Department Administrative Offices were temporarily relocated from the Attractions Level into two hotel rooms in the pyramid. This move meant that the Department's Director and Manager were no longer a frequent, visible presence on the Attractions Level and the effect on the Attractions Team was glaringly obvious; morale, already low due to layoffs and Attraction closures associated with the renovation, fell even lower. Because of the reduced visibility of their Leaders, the team felt that they no longer mattered as much to them...this may not have been the reality, but it was the perception of the team.
Anyone looking to be a successful leader in today's competitive world must be engaged and in-touch with their team. Here are a few ways that Leaders can stay grounded, be visible, and connect with their team:
Commit to daily park walks where you genuinely greet your people
Attend pre-shift meetings on a regular basis
Make an appearance at New Hire Orientation
Make it a point to meet and welcome every employee on your team
Have an open-door policy to allow employees to meet with you
If possible, step into the role of your Team Members; let them show you what they do/experience daily
EVERY team member plays a vital role in making sure your guests have an amazing time during their visit from the person who sells them their ticket to the person who ensures their safety on a ride and from to the person who makes their lunch to the person that makes sure the restroom they use is clean. Great leaders make sure that EVERYONE on their team feels valued as a member of the team and that everyone knows that their contributions to the team are important. Feeling that they are valued tends to make for happy/satisfied team members. Having a happy team makes for a more enjoyable experience for everyone who visits your facility (both internal and external guests).
Have a great week as you meet, greet, and connect with your Team!