Continuing Education

Leading through understanding

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

Leadership skills are an essential tool for managers in today’s workplace. Being able to set a direction, articulate an inspiring vision and guide teams or entire organisations is nonetheless challenging.

In order to promote leadership skills in the tourism and hospitality sectors in Macao and beyond, IFT hosted in May a 2-day Executive Development Programme on Leadership and Motivation. The course was led by Dr. J. Bruce Tracey, Professor in the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, in the United States.

A total of 21 professionals from several areas joined the programme. One of the highlights of the course, according to students, was the discussion on the need for leaders better to understand team members in order to enhance team performance.

Ms. Sharon Tudela, Director at Macau-based Bridgewater Consulting Services, was one of the participants on the course. She says she joined the programme to “understand specifically the concerns and the challenges that people in leadership [positions] in the hospitality business face”.

“[Through the programme] I realised that leadership challenges are universal,” Ms. Tudela states. “It’s all about understanding people: understanding yourself first of all, knowing your strengths and weaknesses; and knowing your staff… knowing what their needs are, empowering them.”

Mr. Francis Lam, Executive Manager at the Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Centre, also attended the executive development programme led by Dr. Tracey. The main insight gained from the course, he suggests, was the need for leaders better to understand others in order to be effective managers of people. “Otherwise, there is no way you can really change anything,” he says.

Mr. Lam says the topics discussed during class would be useful for him in the workplace. While noting his own team members are very loyal to the company, he says that also carries the risk they will be less open to novelty and innovation than he might wish. Mr. Lam now hopes he can change that with the motivational tools learned on the IFT programme.

Becoming a better leader

“[The programme] was very interesting, very interactive, and I got to know a lot of people,” says participant Mr. Francis Ho, Assistant I.T. Manager at Hotel Lisboa. He adds that one of the issues highlighted during the course was the need for leaders to provide their team with a vision; an insight he now wants to implement at his workplace.

The programme was also attended by 3 IFT lecturers. One of them was English language Lecturer Mr. Trevor Ho, who praises the course syllabus. “As a teacher, sometimes I might have missed out the importance of affiliation with others, or of interpersonal relationship with my students,” he comments. Mr. Ho says what he learned at the programme would be “very useful” for his career in education.

Programme leader Dr. Tracey says one of the goals of the course was “to enhance [the students’] view of leadership… and, in doing so, hopefully stimulate [in them] a broader perspective” of the different roles of a leader. Another objective was to share with participants some skills that could help them “make decisions more effectively, based on analysis of their particular situations,” he adds.

“They [the students] are hungry to know what to do, back in their own job settings” to become better leaders, Dr. Tracey says.

President’s Corner

A special place

IFTM’s unique positioning means students have access to a deep pool of exclusive opportunities, including exchange and internship programmes outside Macao, allowing them to be exposed to new ideas, and to broaden their horizons. Read More