Pass the Baton Not the Buck
Ultimately, this tagline is about taking accountability – for oneself as well as for others whom one can influence – either directly, through authority and position or – indirectly, through experience and superior knowledge.
The topic doesn’t really need to be explained. Suffice to
say that in Hospitality, as well as in a host of other services, business is
akin to a relay race and if you’re not passing the baton to ensure positive
outcomes, you’re probably passing the buck because things have not gone well.
Back of the house | heart of the house | front of the
house – call it what you will, a key to operational success is recruiting
right, training appropriately, clarifying expectations, mandating efficient
processes, motivating and inspiring team members to deliver – at a minimum – to
expectations. There are strong linkages and dependencies within departments as
well as across functions – hence the analogy of a relay team.
Does this mean that organisations should not have superstar
On the contrary – a relay team needs to have strong
individual runners to finish ahead. But individuals who know how to work
cohesively as a unit; not self-absorbed attention seekers.
A colleague once told me that a group of people working
together doesn’t make a team. And in the hospitality business, success can only
be achieved if every member of the group works in tandem to make sure the
business crosses the finish line every day, every hour, every minute – because
each minute provides several moments of truth – for customer and employees
One might argue that the sales team needs to drive business
– they work as aggressive, lone hunters. Well, how often have we seen
salespersons promise more than what can be delivered? Do they pass the baton
for the service delivery team to carry forward or do they later pass the buck
when the promise cannot be delivered? Selling a promise that cannot be
fulfilled is easy. True skill is in selling what can be delivered with confidence and sophistication.
Needless to say, of course, being able to collect the baton smoothly and running
with it is equally important because – in time – one has to pass it on … up to
the finish line.
Ultimately, this tagline is about taking accountability –
for oneself as well as for others whom one can influence – either directly,
through authority and position or – indirectly, through experience and superior
When members are able to pass the baton well not only within
their teams but also across departments, and avoid passing the buck, they
develop into a highly capable force – fully prepared to take on the greatest of
challenges. Why? Well, because such teams build a culture of precisely that – the
ability to push themselves to take on herculean tasks.
These teams do not shy from a challenge, or look for a fall
guy when things go south.
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