AAHOA President & CEO
Great leaders share at least one trait. They inspire greatness in others by challenging them to believe in their full potential. Early last month, I attended an event at the Department of Labor in Washington, D.C., where our 40th president, Ronald Reagan, was inducted into the Labor Hall of Fame. As the only American president to serve as the head of a labor union, he understood the importance of a constructive and collaborative relationship between management and employees. He also understood the excesses, abuses and stagnation that are inherent in any institution where the leadership stops inspiring others to greatness, and a fixation on that which brought about past successes creates a myopia that stymies innovation and forward progress.
President Reagan communicated in a way that made his vision accessible and meaningful to a broad audience. Speaking plainly and positively while clearly articulating the potential of the nation and its citizens lit a flame that still burns today. Effective leadership is more than simply expressing a confidence that no obstacle is too great to overcome. It’s about communicating the way forward.
In February, AAHOA hosted a Leadership Conference that brought together our board and officers with industry leaders and innovators to discuss strategies for growing AAHOA, expanding our influence, and how we can become the recognized voice for all hotel owners. When we go to lobby lawmakers in Washington or a state capital, we’re doing it on behalf of all hotel owners. When we create educational seminars, the information is a benefit to any hotel owner. Our efforts to educate hotel owners about human trafficking prevention benefit the entire industry and the communities in which our members operate properties. Everything our association does is for the benefit of hotel owners. What we hoped to gain from this leadership conference was greater insight into how we as an association will become the recognized leader of the daring entrepreneurs whose vision, work ethic, and leadership creates careers, provides a welcome home away from home for guests, and makes an indelible contribution to our nation’s economy. How we share our vision and our values going forward will be key.
One of the most inspiring things I see in our members is that each one embodies the American Dream. AAHOA members embrace the best opportunities that our freedoms as Americans bestow upon us. From entrepreneurship and the willingness to take the risk to strike out on one’s own, to engaging with government to formulate policy that makes our communities stronger while protecting our free enterprise system, our association has a deep pool of strong leaders that will inspire all of us as we look toward a bright future full of opportunity.