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10 Rules of Business Leadership & Success | Marcus Lemonis

Updated: Jan 25, 2023

Hospitality is all about the people. As The Ritz-Carlton company motto says, “We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen”. To create a successful company, you must begin with your directors and managers. The best of the best are more than the department they oversee, they are leaders that foster the growth of the team members. It is important to look at our leaders to see how they can improve, achieve even higher, and properly support team members to do the same. A company is only as strong as its team. Marcus Lemonis has successfully evaluated and mentored leaders and companies to grow their success. As a successful businessman himself and the star of the television show The Profit, Mr. Lemonis teaches and elevates businesses and leaders. He focuses on the people, process, and product of a business and how to improve any of the three. Whether you have the time to watch all 72 episodes or not, we’ve listed his 10 Rules of Business Leadership & Success as a starting point.

Rule #1: Be kind

It is so important for any leader to be kind and approachable. Treat people properly and you will create a positive influence. Surround yourself with people who do the same, this is encourage you and others to do and be better each day. There is no room for negativity in hospitality.

Rule #2: Make your Staff #1

While our guests are of the utmost importance, our team members are even more important. Treat your staff well and they will do the same for your guests. Happy staff will always positively represent the company. This starts with hiring the right people. Do not hire someone to fill an opening, search for the talent you want to represent the company. Remember, look for the right attitude in someone, the technical skills and knowledge can be taught.

Rule #3: Know what you Don’t Know

You cannot be in a position of authority without knowing and understanding the industry; however, that doesn’t mean a leader knows everything. It is important to be humble in your leadership and acknowledge that while you may know a lot and be in expert in some areas, there are also areas that you may not be as strong in. By understanding your weaknesses, it is easier to find people and solutions to balance them. It is better to ask for help than to negatively impact a guest’s experience.

Rule #4: Accept the Unforeseen

In an industry that heavily relies on people, not everything will always go as planned. Travel can be stopped, employment rates can be at an all-time low, production of necessary ingredients can be slow. All of these are difficult, if not impossible, to prevent. However, that does not mean we can dwell on the unfortunate circumstance or give it as an excuse for lesser service. Successful leaders accept the unforeseen and pivot quickly so that guests don’t feel the effects of it. An excellent way to better prepare for this is to implement a culture of proactive service and have plans in place for when something occurs. This will help establishments implement solutions before the problem truly becomes a problem.

Rule #5: Be Vulnerable

A great leader is able to be human with their team. There is no need for a façade of perfection, show that growth and progress are more important by working towards it yourself. Great leadership see vulnerability as a self-explanatory concept and master it very early in their careers.

Rule #6: Be Authentic

Leaders must be true to themselves and show team members who they really are. We create connections with our guests, it is only right for our staff to have the opportunity to create a connection with their leaders too. There should be little explanation necessary with Rule #6.

Rule #7: Be Transparent

Again, another rule that should not require a lengthy explanation. Honesty is the best policy is just as applicable in business as it is to a child. If a leader feels they need to hide something about their business, then policies and procedures should be addressed and adjusted.

Rule #8: It’s all about Follow-Through

You can’t just talk that talk, you must walk the walk, and this is especially true for leaders. This develops consistency and implements a positive habit, both at work and in life. Successful leaders have already been implementing this in their daily lives, it is very hard to get to a position of leadership without already understanding how imperative follow-through is.

Rule #9: Know your Numbers

This rule is as simple as it seems. Being aware of the numbers affecting the organization is important to the growth and success of it. This includes profits, debts, and forecasts, any report that include a numerical value. By knowing and understanding the numbers of a business, a leader can determine the success and if anything must be adjusted. It is essential to know how much money is coming in and how much is going out.

Rule #10: No excuses

This may be one of the most important rules for luxury establishments. Guests are to receive the highest level of service and excuses for not meeting these standards are not excepted. It is important to take responsibility and avoid complaints. This is creating a positive mindset which will help overcome whatever the problem is. Rule #10 also relates to rule #4 of accepting the unforeseen and not focusing on it. Excuses lead to a slippery slope of relaxed service standards. One excuse can be a gateway to more and before you know it, the establishment is no longer a luxurious experience.

Hard work and dedication to these rules can immensely impact an organization. Luxury hospitality service is the best of the best and Mr. Lemonis’ rules will help you achieve just that. Focus on the people, process, and product, look at your strengths and weaknesses, and take advantage of opportunities. Our product is exceptional service and phenomenal experiences, keeping this in mind and following the 10 Rules of Business Leadership and Success is how luxury establishments achieve the highest level of standards. While the 10 listed are not all the important aspects of being a leader, they are a great start. By mastering Mr. Lemonis’ 10 rules the rest will come naturally. Great leaders may already be following these rules without even knowing. Some may come intuitively, and some may take hard work. Regardless, it is acceptable, even expected that not every leader lives by all 10 rules perfectly. This is where Rule #3 comes into play, know that you don’t know everything and work towards being better. These rules not only help with growth among team members, but they also grow the leaders. To learn more, we recommend watching an episode or two of The Profit on CNBC and take in more of Marcus Lemonis’ advice.


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