Spa Balance

38. Why Do Less Than 1% of Wellness Leaders Actually Make It To GM?

Why do less than 1% of wellness leaders actually make it to hotel GM?

Have you wondered why our wellness leaders have the crystal ceiling set so low when it comes to their growth?

I sometimes can’t help but think about how the system – OUR wellness industry’s growth trajectory system – is built in such a way that sets our wellness leaders up for failure before they even start their careers!

We have such short-lived careers in an industry we are so passionate about and have given so much of our blood, sweat and tears to! It really is mindboggling why this is the case.

If we look at what growth prospects our wellness leaders have in the hospitality industry, the vast majority of leaders have a hard stop at Director of Wellness. After that, they either have to branch out to other industries, set up shop on their own, or stay stagnated. 

Only a small percentage are lucky enough to make it to a cluster or regional role – and that also their function rarely is beyond surface deep when it comes to impact (they aren’t paid more to take on additional responsibility and nor are they given any decision-making authority).

From this small percentage, about 1% of these lucky leaders actually make it to a global role – and rest assured, once they’re at that global role, they are highly unlikely to leave that much-coveted seat for years to come. And understandably so – they’ve worked so hard to get to the highest possible position available (or rather, known) to our industry.

And the holy grail – what less than a handful have managed to achieve AND maintain in our history – the vice president role!

If we look at the alternative path – the generalist role instead of the specialist one – the numbers are equally daunting. How many wellness leaders have actually made it to hotel GM level? Better framed, how many wellness leaders have actually been GIVEN that opportunity?

I bet that answer is less than 1%!

And dare I ask, of these paths (specialist and generalist), how many of these fortunate leaders have been women?

The irony of it all – we’re a female-dominant industry!

In today’s episode, I tackle the questions: why do less than 1% of wellness leaders actually make it to hotel GM? Why aren’t we given the same growth opportunities as our Directors of Rooms and Food & Beverage? What do we need to do or prove in order to be perceived as worthy of these opportunities?

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