By Colleen Isherwood
Do you remember the differences between ostriches and llamas from Larry Mogelonsky's first book, Are you an Ostrich or a Llama?
“Ostriches were a poetic choice to embody those businesspeople who are stubborn, parsimonious and otherwise afraid with their heads in the sand,” Mogelonsky explains in his second book, Llamas Rule, Essays in Hospitality Marketing and Management.
“Judged purely by appearance, ostriches can be quite intimidating. I blame the sharp beaks atop long, slender necks.”
On the other hand, “If you've ever met a llama face to face, what will strike you is their docile yet bold disposition. They'll approach you without trepidation; their coat soft to the touch. Comparing these two domesticated beasts, the metaphor for 'good manager, bad manager' is clear.”
With the exponential changes taking place in the hospitality industry today, it's more important than ever to face the issues calmly but boldly and without trepidation. Mogelonsky's new book breaks down the areas of hotel management—guest services, branding, traditional and Internet marketing, operations, food and beverage, technology, social media and online travel agencies—and finishes with 16 “Examples of Excellence.”
Under each orderly section title are chapters dealing issues that are not orderly, and can cause chaos if they aren't addressed, such as Internet scams, the hotel germ spotlight and 10 pesky things that annoy guests. Other chapters offer practical tips on ways to deal with the complexities of today's hotels—managing real-time reviews, mobile-friendly e-newsletters, top 10 [factors] to consider for meeting space design, and fundamentals to build a guest bill of rights.
Dracula as a role model?
Mogelonsky also turns to film and television—classic and contemporary—for lessons that can apply to the hotel industry. For example, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel shows that—unlike the hotel in the movie—your brochures should accurately represent your hotel product, and there may yet be a market for affluent, energetic boomers and retirees. In the comedy, Hotel Transylvania, starring Adam Sandler, there are some basic truths about hospitality, such as the need for a lively lobby, gregarious GM and rapid response staffers. In this chapter, you can read about Dracula (Sandler) as the model for the gregarious GM.
It's an educational book, but chapters are short and pithy, with examples drawn from Mogelonsky's years as both a traveller and hospitality consultant.
Mogelonsky has also created an online educational program for hoteliers, titled “Llamas Digital”, an interactive training tool that allows managers and staff access to articles and questions based on the material through a web portal.
For more information on the educational program, go to www.lmadigital.ca. Llamas Rule is available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.ca.