In the age of disruption and rapid changes, being a good leader is not only a matter of responsibility but also a matter of constant innovation, says Nicolas Frangos, CEO at Lifestyle Hospitality.
Being an innovative leader is a must if you want to stay afloat in the hospitality industry today. Classic has become boring while being bold and taking risks is more appreciated than ever and has brought a fresh breath of life into the world of travel and tourism.
Nicolas Frangos, CEO at Lifestyle Hospitality, embodies the above-mentioned characteristics and knows how to leverage them for his clients. Frangos shared his thoughts and advice on the evolution of hospitality and leadership in September at TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR Dubai.
With almost thirty years of experience in the hospitality sector, Frangos shares his expertise in his role as CEO and as a Senior Advisor at Strategic Hotel Consulting. In an interview, he shared exclusive insights with TOPHOTELNEWS.
Creating a unique brand experience
Frangos: I believe hospitality will see a new type of luxury from a high-end travel experience. The focus here is on bespoke destinations rather than deluxe accommodations. Today, travellers search for unique experiences, secret locations, untouched natural regions, novelty and adventure. That’s why hotels need to prepare for a generation of travellers who also look for sustainability and architectural innovation.
There are many hotel brands and too little differentiation. We should take advantage of the new concepts arising and focus on intuitive signature services, connectivity, character and sense of community. If we want to create a unique guest experience, we need a unique identity of our own.
In most cases, when you enter a hotel you are surrounded by a derivative set of “spray-on” concepts. Properties may appear different superficially, but they are essentially the same when you scratch the surface.
Certainly, a brand needs to be useful and profitable, but above all, a hospitality brand must be creative, visible and likeable to create a brand’s DNA. However, the next big thing in our industry will be well-delivered simplicity.
Every hotel’s main asset
Frangos: A hotel’s main asset is its team. Without this, it is impossible to offer the outstanding service guests expect from luxury properties. Both management and front and back of house departments need intuitive people with empathy and emotional intelligence. This goes further than just being cheerful. What is needed is graciousness, kindness, humour and savoir-faire.
For a hotelier, cosmopolitan flair and originality are both essential to offer even more awe-inducing hospitality moments. You can have the best bricks and sticks in the world, but if you don’t have beautiful people, it’s difficult.
The 21st-century hospitality leader
Frangos: Leaders must be bold, creative game-changers ready to challenge the status quo. Today’s leaders are much more conscious of the threat of disruption and are looking for ways to be the disruptors instead of being disrupted.
As a leader, it’s easy to operate within your comfort zone after a period of stability, when things are going well, and the day-to-day operations are established. Being disruptive makes the difference between leaders and managers.
A manager motivates and brings together the team. A leader exemplifies a vision and transforms business. Both are important, but if you want to transform, you need exceptional leadership.
In my opinion, leaders should have influencing skills and strong interpersonal abilities. Leaders should also compete ambitiously and be able to take risks creating new and unconventional concepts. And of course, they should embrace change and innovation.
Forward-thinking leaders must disrupt and execute simultaneously, whilst giving space to employees to innovate and get involved in creating market-leading solutions.
Disruptive leadership style is only effective if it ties to business strategy and targets. Leaders of tomorrow will be the ones with the ability to balance between structure and innovation, between achieving their goals and exploring the market for new opportunities.
In my opinion balance between disruption and pragmatism will be the leadership trend for years to come.
Thoughts on TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR
Frangos: It was a wonderfully organized event where delegates, speakers, organizers and creative thinkers had the opportunity to share ideas and insights with explosive presentations. Thank you for giving us the spark to continuously disrupt the hospitality industry.
Nicolas Frangos was a delegate at TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR Dubai 2019. To attend, address or sponsor our boutique hospitality networking events around the world, contact TOPHOTELPROJECTS Head of Global Events & Conferences Kayley van der Velde.