Hospitality Financial Leadership

Hospitality Financial Leadership - My 10,000 Hours - By David Lund

two gray pencils on yellow surface - Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash
My 10,000 Hours


This piece is about a book I read that was a gift to me by my daughter one Christmas not that long ago. At the time I had no idea how much it would mean to me and how important it is for people to understand its message. The message is simple, no one just lands on this planet with what they need to be successful. We ALL must work for it.

That’s right and I know you have heard this before as did I, but having read the book and now having experienced what I have it comes full circle. I want to share with you what it means to me—what it means to me to have worked for it and in hope that it will help you see your own masterpiece. The hope that this gives you some inspiration to just drop your excuses and go for it.

The book, Outliers, written by Malcom Gladwell, has been a bestseller since it was first published in 2008. When I read the book, it did not occur to me that what he was talking about and his 10,000-hour theory was totally applicable to me. I was still in denial that I could be—and I’m having a hard time writing these words—special, unique or an expert in my chosen field.

It was not until I stepped out of my comfort zone that I saw my own unique set of skills for what they really were. That’s the thing that must happen for you to realize it is OK to be who you are and accept the fact that others will see your—and I’m having a hard time again—see your greatness.

You also must know that not everyone will agree with you and that’s just part of the same thing—your being OK with what you do and who you are. That’s a hard pill to swallow when you don’t have a role model or someone who came before you. That was my excuse for not stepping out earlier. Who was I to claim this space?

For me being a hospitality financial leadership pioneer is great. Creating a world where I get to write, speak, coach and all-around talk about hotel financials and what it means to educate and lead our industry peeps around the numbers is a dream come true. But be warned, it comes with a price.

The price must be paid, and its payment is a two-way transaction

One, we must put in the time. I don’t mean just warm the seat. I mean we must push the envelope and really expose ourselves to something unique and special. Two, we must be willing to withstand the critics and the naysayers.

Like anything in life not everyone will find what you are doing is acceptable and your own bravado must accept some dents if you are to stay in the game.

I get notes and correspondence every week from people all over the world and overwhelmingly it is super positive. However, I do get what I call “stupid notes” from people who take exception to what I write about. When I get one it hurts. That’s the simple explanation.

When I think about it, about what they say and how I interpret it, I feel like I have offended the person. But I also realize that it is just part of the game. If I look, I can find lots of evidence of others that I consider to be very accomplished enduring the same. I recall a social media comment directed at a second-generation professional automobile driver by a “fan” condemning his abilities and all because his father was more successful.

Putting in your time

It sounds like a prison sentence but for me the time was spent learning my industry—although most of the time I had no idea that I was amassing such knowledge. In my 30-plus years inside the company that I worked for I had an incredible education all the while earning a paycheck and having a great time. I have said this many times and I believe I never really worked a day in my life, or at least it never really felt like work.

The work that gave me such a great education and provided me the fuel for my business today was understanding hotel financials and most importantly the psychology of money inside the hospitality world.

During my career I closed the books hundreds of months, prepared hundreds of forecasts, reviewed literally thousands of financial statements, forecasts, budgets and commentaries. All the while I was just doing my job. I had no idea that this experience would shape my opinions and ideas to produce a body of work directed at changing the backward and inefficient way we communicate around the financial process inside our hotels.

I talk with people often from other industries and they don’t understand how or why the financial piece is so unevolved in hospitality. I do. I also know how we can move to erase the chaos and replace it with a system to follow.

If you want help with your understanding of the financial piece or want to get your team more aligned financially give me a call.

If you would like a copy of any of the following send me an email at

  • RevPar Index Spreadsheet
  • Incentive Plan Template
  • EFTE and Productivity Exercise
  • Hotel Financial Policy Manual – Inventory of “Sections”
  • Hotel Financial Coach “Services Sheet”
  • A White Paper – Creating a Hotel Policy Manual
  • F&B Productivity Spreadsheet
  • Rooms Productivity Spreadsheet
  • Financial Leadership Recipe F TAR W
  • A White Paper – A Six Month Workshop and Coaching Assignment
  • Hotel Financial Coach – “Speaking Sheet”
  • Flow Thru Cheat Sheet – Enhanced

Visit my website today for a copy of my FREE guidebook
The Seven Secrets to Create a Financially Engaged Leadership Team in Your Hotel

Call or write today and arrange for a complimentary discussion on how you can create a financially engaged leadership team in your hotel.

Contact David at (415) 696-9593.

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