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5 BIG Steps on the Path to Senior Leadership

Business meeting

June 6, 2017

By: Ky Snyder

Do you aspire to climb the ladder to senior leadership? A C-level position in hospitality and tourism can be surprisingly attainable if you build your career the right way. However, becoming a senior manager or executive requires more than simply “putting the time in.” Here are a few steps you can take proactively to set yourself on the right path, and perhaps even accelerate your ascension within your organization.

1. Master the Financials

A strong financial background is a must-have in order to make sound business decisions. You don’t necessarily need to be a finance expert, but you do need to be able to understand and evaluate income statements, bottom line, variable expenses, and other business finance concepts. The Hospitality & Tourism Management (HTM) Master’s Program at San Diego State University does a great job of equipping students at all career levels with financial acumen that applies directly to hospitality and tourism, but can also be used in virtually any industry.

2. Recognize the Value of Mentorship

No matter how confident and capable you may be, it’s important to realize that you need a support system to help you continue to advance your career. The HTM Master’s Program matches you with an industry mentor and creates many opportunities for you to develop meaningful relationships with program alumni and peers. The faculty also has a tremendous track record in this business and gives you an open line to reach them for their insight and advice.

3. Become a Leader of Change

Senior managers are usually the ones responsible for envisioning and implementing change in an organization. Before you reach that level of responsibility, you need to be able to navigate the different approaches for a given scenario. Leadership is situational, not school of thought. Study and strategize how to create positive change in your organization, and let your idea be the framework for the Capstone Project that concludes the HTM Master’s Program. For more inspiration on being a leader of change, see my previous article, “Are You Leading Change or is it Leading You?

4. Be a Lifelong Learner

The most successful people in business share an insatiable craving for information. Make a point to learn something new at work on a daily basis. Sharing ideas with colleagues and mentors can help you identify when and where to develop new skills. And remember, learning doesn’t stop when you reach the top. Between the fast pace of the hospitality industry and that of technology, there is always knowledge to gain.

5. Invest in Yourself

The day you pledge to truly invest in yourself is the day you take the biggest step of your career. Attend conferences, join organizations, gain certifications, subscribe to publications—these are all little things you can do to propel yourself forward. For those who want to take investing in themselves to the next level, consider the HTM Master’s Program. You can enhance your career in the short-term while positioning yourself for the long-term, simultaneously. Learn more about the program here.

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