There are times as leaders when you need to think creatively particularly in a crisis situation.
Surinder Arora the owner of the network of Sofitel hotels used his position of leadership brilliantly during the snow crisis at Heathrow in December 2010.
Sofitel at Terminal 5 was fully booked and he guessed in the morning that terminal was going to be full of stranded passengers. He asked his PA to track down as many sleeping bags as possible. He then called BAA and suggested that they send passengers to his hotel to sleep in conference rooms in sleeping bags, where they would be warm and have access to a hot meal. The BAA Director came back a few hours later and said yes great idea. The PA had managed to secure 500 sleeping bags. Stranded passengers arrived and occupied the conference rooms and some were there for as long as 4 or 5 days.
Surinder was one of the few people to come out of the snow crisis well and also added to his bottom line with the extra spend of the stranded customers. Great example of creative leadership thinking.
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