The age of access

If you have been reading the blog for awhile, you have probably heard me mention Anthony Melchiorri (@AnthonyHotels) of Hotel Impossible. He does a great job of helping hotel managers and owners turn their business around.

And I’ve talked to him. :o)

Well, I’ve tweeted to him and he’s replied. I may be showing my age here, but I thought it was cool to interact with someone who is on TV.  Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, not only was this not the norm, it was downright rare.

But now, access to anyone at anytime is right there for the taking. Social media has created a connection between celebrities, companies and anyone with a Facebook or Twitter account. From a marketing standpoint, this helps create loyalty and relationships that traditional marketing can’t touch. It creates a transparency that many consumers crave so they can really feel good about doing business with a particular company.

From a leadership standpoint, this transparency can also help build loyalty and trust among your staff.  But there could also be a downside.

One of the mantras I heard as a young leader was to not go out after work (especially to parties) with your employees. It is possible to learn things you don’t want to know, and too much “transparency” in this case can really blur the line between friend and leader, which could undermine your authority.

Today, being connected to your employees via social media can provide the same access. Is this what you want? Are your employees expecting it?

Do you think your employees are expecting the same access to you that they have with other brands and companies? If so, how and where do you draw the line to maintain the integrity of the leader/employee relationship?

I don’t know that there is one clear-cut answer to this.  I would love to hear your thoughts on how you are handling it.

Thanks for reading!

Matt

Now is the time to start thinking about midseason burnout – don’t let this phenomenon plague your staff this season.  Book Matt to bring his Myth of Midseason Burnout program to your facility this spring! (The program has already gotten high praise from audiences at WWA, IAAPA, and AIMS!)

All the kids are doing it…

So I finally joined Facebook, but not because “all the kids are doing it”.  I joined for a legitimate business purpose (almost said that with a straight face).  But seriously, I am embarking on a long distance training experiment, and Facebook will be a major player in our communication.

For the longest time, I have actually been staying away from Facebook, almost in the name of rebellion.  Because everyone was doing it and wanting me to do it, I was choosing not to.  I spend enough time in front of a computer, and I saw this as one more excuse to spend even more – and I wasn’t having it!

Now that I am on it, I do see some benefits.  Okay, so its cool to see what people are up to and I have been able to catch up with some old friends.  I’ve also noticed some people have too much time on their hands – but that’s another story.

The story I wanted to spin today was about peer pressure, which I think gets a bad rap.  How many of us can hear our bridgeparents saying, “If little Johnny was going to jump off a bridge, would you do that, too?”  Typically the pressure to be cool or to fit in causes people to do things they normally wouldn’t do, sometimes against their better judgment.  But what if its a good thing the team is doing?  Doesn’t peer pressure work both ways?

Imagine you have a team of 15 people.  Out of those 15 people, you have 12 that are hard workers, they smile, have fun and treat your guests (and fellow team members) with respect.  Unfortunately, many times our efforts and energies are spent giving negative attention to the 3 peeps who aren’t pulling their weight.

What if that were reversed?  What if we spent more time praising, coaching, and applauding the 12 who are doing well?  Remember that most of what we do as humans is about getting (or deflecting) attention.  Its a self-esteem thing.  And, when people don’t get enough positive attention, what do they do?  You guessed it… create some drama or a situation to get negative attention.  At least its attention.

So… when the positive attention is the norm, and people naturally want to fit in, they will do what it takes to get positive attention.  It’s like the school bully… he’s trying to get you to react so he can retaliate and prove his toughness.  Take away his negative attention, you take away his motivation for acting like a dufus.

Thanks for reading!

Matt

PS – The first person who can correctly identify the bridge in the picture above gets 1000 bonus points.  (Points toward what, I’m not sure.)