Posted by Eva Ferguson
Last week, the IAHI had the great honor of presenting FelCor Lodging Trust Chairman—and former IAHI Chairman—Thomas J. Corcoran with the Kemmons Wilson award for community involvement and achievement.
In 2008/2009 Tom led IAHI through the most difficult year any of us can remember. Whenever I reflect on that period, I always come back to the same phrase: the right man at the right time. When Tom assumed the chairmanship, our owners needed tested, focused leadership. And that is precisely what they got.
We address the question of leadership each year as a new chairman is inducted. The 19 IAHI chairman with whom I have worked could not be more different. Their leadership styles varied from empowering to powerful, highly focused to broadly seeking. Regardless, they all shared an uncanny ability to assess the state of the business and rally those around them to support their vision to address it.
I was recently asked what characteristics define a leader. My many years in the hospitality industry have taught me that leaders share common characteristics: vision, the ability to motivate and follow-through. But great leaders? They are defined by not only their own inherent talents, but also by the times in which they are called to set the agenda.
Who, in the hospitality industry today, would you consider a great leader?