10/17/2011 9:40 AM
I had one of those Oprah “aha” moments during our Board meeting earlier this month. Now I didn’t spend a lot of time watching her show, but I think everyone knows she popularized the phrase “aha moment.” She was talking about one of those times when you stop short, and think “wow, why didn’t I think of that sooner.” Which is exactly what happened to me as we closed our Board meeting.
For months now we have been working on a new identity for the Association. Our target has been and will be to introduce our new name and logo at the IHG Americas Investors & Leadership Conference next week. All focus has been on that date. But as I got ready to adjourn the Board meeting, I stopped short: I realized this was our last meeting as the IAHI. Never again would we gather together under this name—it seemed like a moment we should have commemorated, and we didn’t. Which was my “aha”…I know almost daily there are times that we are so focused on what’s at the end that we fail to acknowledge all the milestones along the way. Did we share that great comment a guest just made about our associate? Did we take the time to say “thank you”?
As hotel owners, we spend a lot of time focused on the bottom line, the monthly financials, the year-end forecast, the opening date, and so many more deadlines. Are we missing important moments or key learnings or teaching opportunities along the way? I think we could be.
As I leave my term as Chairman, which I must say, I have truly enjoyed in ways I couldn’t have imagined, I go out with a challenge to all of us. Let’s stay focused on the here and now. Let’s be present, here for the “what’s next” and not the “what’s at the end.” Let’s keep our long-term vision always in sight but let’s make sure we don’t miss meaningful moments and milestones along the way. And let’s celebrate the accomplishments, big and small, of our hotel teams, our sales forces, our families, and our friends, and, yes, even our own, whenever we can.
I am thrilled to have been a part of the journey that will bring the IAHI to its next milestone, and I look forward to working with Glenn Squires, our new chairman, as he guides the Association along its path next year. Look for an email from Glenn on October 24 as we celebrate our next milestone together.