The co-founder and former President of the Ritz-Carlton Horst Schulze shares how to take your company’s customer service experience to the next level, what true commitment looks like and why you must bring daily excellence to win in the world of business.
First man in, last man out – The keys to climbing the corporate ladder
“I would rather make the decision on how I feel rather than have my feeling make my decision.” – Horst Schulze
“Leaders have forfeited the right to make excuses.” – Horst Schulze
“If they are good employees, they are earning more than just a paycheck, they are earning the right to make a mistake.” – Horst Schulze
“A leader makes sure his employees WANT to do the job.” – Horst Schulze
“Timeliness is the key to success.” – Horst Schulze
HORST SCHULZE –
On today’s show. We’re interviewing the former president and the co founder of the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company in August of 1983 Jerald w Blakely, who owned and managed the hotel salt, the Ritz Carlton Boston and the US trademark for $75.50 to William B. Johnson, who was once the largest owner of the waffle house franchises. Oh yeah. William Johnson also owned holiday inns and Marissa.
Yeah. William decided to assemble a foreperson dream team in Atlanta to lead the company headed by none other than today’s guest, Horst Schulze to create the Ritz Carlton Hotel Brand and to establish the Ritz Carlton chain of hotels shorts dramatically revolutionize the hotel industry while turning the Ritz Carlton in to one of the most remarkable and recognized international brands on the planet. Horse obsession with providing world class customer service has set the standard for excellence in the hotel industry for over 30 years. Under his leadership, Ritz Carlton won the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1992 only one other company has ever won the award more than once. And the Ritz Carlton is the only company in the hotel industry to actually win this award today. Horse does. The bestselling author of the book excellence wins a no nonsense guide to becoming the best and it world of compromise. Chuck, we don’t have any more time to horse around and this intro is making me Horst, so let’s hear it straight from the horse horse mouth.
Thrive nation. I could not be more excited to interview today’s guest. His name is Horst Schultz and I’m sure you’re familiar with the company that he co-founded in the company that he was once. The former president of the company is called Ritz Carlton Hotel Company Horst Schulze. Welcome to the thrive time show. How are you sir? I’m crate and delighted to be here sir. The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company has set so many benchmarks for excellence and customer service. Your name has been publicized and people know you for the success you’ve achieved. But could you start off at the bottom and, and share with us, uh, where you’re from and, and Kinda your, your, your background be cut before it becoming the king of hotels,
another king at all. I’m, I come from a very small background, a small village in Germany and lift the individualized to there was 14. And then I left and worked in the hotel. I had begged my parents to work in a hotel, which was very unpopular at the time, but they found the best job they could find, the finest hotel that, which unfortunately was about a hundred kilometers away from home. Uh, but, uh, so I left there, lived there in a dorm room with other kids starting to work as a busboy. And that meant everything at the time, cleaning, washing dishes, uh, et Cetera, et cetera. Helping for three now a half years, worked in the kitchen, worked in a restaurant, worked in the, in the housekeeping and so on. And after that I left and worked in the truly, I mean, I’m not, et cetera. In the finest hotels in Europe, in Paris and in Switzerland or the America line, Germany, England.
And after that I came to the US in 1964 in San Francisco, working in the Hilton and Hilton private club and so on and worked, worked, started, ended up with Hyatt and uh, and uh, worked for 10 years. In high end we started as a director of food and beverage operations director rooms, general manager, uh, vice president, regional vice president corporate vice president. And then I was offered to do, start a job to start a new hotel company to hotels and construction both in Atlanta. And so the headquarters was not lantern. They’ve had developers and, and, uh, financial people and needed somebody to run this new company in the hotel business. They want to create their own print with the promise. They made me the promise. It would be that we could go top end. And so I left, said at the time, my cred company high yet and moved to Atlanta and started the new Intel company. A year later we opened our first hotel and that became Ritz Carlton. And that’s the story.
Wow, incredible career. You just said that at age 14 you started working, is that correct?
That’s correct, yeah, correct. Well, it’s not an untypical chairman way of getting into a profession. You’ve work in that profession and once a week you go to the two school relative to that profession. That’s what I did. That’s a typical trade. Korea and Germany.
I saw a talk that you gave on Youtube. I, by the way, I’ve been watching way too many of your videos, so I apologize for a cyber stalking you so much, but I want you to deliver a talk. And I was at, my kids had a cheerleading event and in Kansas City, and so the way cheerleading events goes, your kids perform for about three minutes and then the rest of the weekend you’re kind of, you know, hanging out at this arena. And so I went back to the hotel while I was waiting for them to perform and I watched her videos. And one of the things that you said and I had to play it back over and over and over as you were comparing, you were comparing your commitment to having excellence at war and and work with your commitment to staying married. If I’m getting that correct, could you please explain the parallels between committing to bring excellence and committing to stay married?
I believe that everything we do is a decision that we make, not a pipe dream it clear decision. I met Ann in marriage. I made a clear decision when I got married. I will be in love with that woman for the rest of my life. Not just love, but be in love and I can tell you unequivocally, I’m married 40 years and am totally in love with that woman, but it takes work. It’s not different than when you take a job. You make a decision to be excellent in that job or whatever it is in life. Those are decisions I can either just go to work or go to work to create excellence. I always say I got to work for two reasons. One is to create excellence in what I’m doing too, is to, to be with my friends if they like it or not.
They’re my friends. If I have that attitude, I enjoy going there and it creates something. Why waste the eight hours, whatever we are, work now, you know, in a leadership position as much more than eight hours. But what if it is to eight hours? Why wasted and just to function rather than whatever the function is. Great, excellent. Be a dish washing or whatever it is. Could excellence in that but well, how does a cop out? Well, it’s a decision and the decision on which you are new to work on, which you, which you remind yourself of all the time. And this is so, it is no, not different with anything else.
I don’t want you to throw anything at me over the phone here. And I’m not, not that Satan needs an advocate, but I’m going to be the devil’s advocate because I grew up really poor. I didn’t start working on is 14, but really 16 is when I started my first thing. Um, and I am not a stranger. Have you know, the 60 hour, the 70 hour work week. I’m not afraid to get to work at four or five or whenever. I’m also going to take care of my body and get sleep. And also I have five kids. I’ve been married 18 years. So many people I see, they say, well, the reason I didn’t get to work on time, I just didn’t feel like it. And so they have, so talk to me about your mindset of committing to excellence versus other people saying, I just don’t feel like it.
Couple of years ago and they’re getting divorced. I mean of course when people have been friends got divorced, it is a total and your friends and everybody gets it. It’s impactful. And I had to sit down. I didn’t understand. They were beautiful too. Beautiful people could look and people friendly people won’t people, Honorable People. So I had to sit down with him. I asked him for lunch and said, why? Why, why we don’t feel like what you’re waiting for feeling. I rather make a decision what my feeling is rather than make it make, make a feeling, make my decisions.
Well, that’s good. Can you repeat that again, sir? That was great.
Yeah. Well I’m saying I don’t really or law that make the decision what I feel rather than have to feeling, decide what I, what I do, how I uh, how I am, et Cetera. This is, this is so unreasonable to even allow that to happen. You make a decision on one community kept after five. The decision you have to fight against the feelings that tried to interfere with your decision, but it has to be still your decision in the end, the feeling. It’s your decision and not that you, your decision is it driven by your feelings?
That right there is a nugget to that somebody needs to write down. We didn’t put that on a tee shirt. Many people today should consider getting a tattoo if you’re to get a tattoo, get that as a tattoo. Now I want to ask you this because you worked very hard from age 14, you worked your way up at Hyatt. And then my understanding is it, uh, Jerald w Blakely, he owned the one individual, um, uh, a Ritz Carlton in Boston and he sold the, the trademark and the brand to William B. Johnson, who I believe was the largest owner of the waffle house franchises. Am I correct?
Yeah, he owned up, he owned about 150 valve and houses and buildings and, and uh, but then you also owns a married to hotels and managed by Marriott and, and holiday inns when he built two hotels, which would be a big, it’s supposed to become a holiday inns. He could not come to agreement at the time. Eventually the, in us to us to the fees and Cetera, et cetera. When somebody recommended him to start his own hotel companies own brand that put them on the search where I came in and was Hyatt, we then said when we were here, we, we, uh, uh, we acquired a name. Uh, I forgot if we had a couple of names that we are quiet and, and uh, but we said it would be cool to have an existing name and it that already makes sense that people know it is a hotel.
And we, we pursued two hotels, one hotel in San Francisco at the Mark Hopkins Hotel and, and he and another one and, and real. And he came back and said, well there’s also the Ritz in Boston. We didn’t like that because it was a terrible hotel. It was terribly [inaudible]. It was only for a weekly for monthly renders. All people lived there, no air conditioning and so on. Uh, but the Mark Hopkins fell through so he purchased because it was a great location and frankly the name was, everybody knew in the Richmond risk called mentor tell, even though it was not a good name anymore in the luxury area. We purchased that, we closed it for innovation. In the meantime, we adopted the name. Now in the meantime, we opened our first hotel, which was the Ritz Carlton in, in, in pocket in Atlanta. And then a year later we reopened Boston. But that’s how we acquired the name, frankly, against the wishes of the operators, of the people around me because it was so dilapidated, that hotel and of course then the Mark Hopkins and in San Francisco at the time, probably had a better name at that time, but the rest is history.
Why did they choose you? They,
somebody recommended me, uh, and they kept on calling me.
Who recommended you? Was it your mother was your wife who recommended you?
No, no. Um, hired a head Honda. Oh, in quiet. And there was, there was a guy that worked with Johnson. Johnson was the guy who was running into overall who I had worked for before. So he got recommendation if your recommendation recommendations and the Cam, the name, the guy that worked for before is, is cook at home. So it was a hotel and I had worked for him in Atlanta and Chicago for one, so an outstanding man and he recommended me that around this company and et Cetera. So there’s several other recommendation came out and they pursued me.
I have a question and I’d like to see disprove or prove my theory as I’ve interviewed. We’ve interviewed no Lee Cockrell who used to manage Walt Disney world resorts. They had 40,000 employees working in Orlando, a million customers a week. Um, at your peak, how many people, how many hotels were you managing it? The peak of Ritz Carlton before you decided to move on? Okay, so you’re managing a staff of people and I’ve noticed that when you’re around these top people, Michael Levine, the top PR guy for Michael Jackson or prince or Nike, you all, when you walk by a piece of
trash, pick it up. But,
but nobody, nobody but nobody, nobody. Nobody does. I have to read three things I’ve observed you pick up trash even if it’s not your building, even it’s not your trash. You pick it up. Second observation, I want to put this in the show notes, Andrew, cause I’m going to, I’m going to grill horse than all these. Second is that you don’t want to be late. You hate being late. Top performers hate to be late. And third, you are working as unto the Lord and not as unto men. Therefore, headhunters are always pursuing you guys because whatever standard that your boss sets is always the minimum standard in your minds. So let’s get into the trash thing. What’s going on with the trash thing?
They have to be corrected. That’s the symbol. I’m just starting to nicotine and take my lot and my wife doesn’t like to go out with me because I obviously have to collect something that’ll be good, but in my opinion it should be corrected in order to be right and they can’t help that and the guest of this pot. That is part of the motivation that comes from Andy, Andy, and not wanting to be not wanting to be right in discussion is simply, that’s not how you learn. You learn only by input. If you’re just think you’re right, you don’t learn, you’re not learning anymore, right? That’s the thing you how to improve, but eliminating your defect by keep on learning and if you don’t continuously improve, you’re going to lose somebody going to bypass. If someone’s going to be much better, you have to continuously learn.
I won’t throw this guy, he came to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where we have a 20,000 square foot facility where we host our in person workshops, which by the way, if you ever want to come present, I know the thrive audience would love you. We about a half million folks to download the podcast every month and we have a lot of our guests who attend, but I picked him up at the airport and it was in Tulsa when it snows, Paul, you know how it gets when it snows and Tulsa, it immediately melts. So it’s a weird slush genus. So the inside of my car, I had just had it detailed. I’m picking them up in my hummer, Horst. I picked him up, I’m driving him back from the airport and he looks at me with this weird look and he says, Hey, what are we going to get this thing washed?
And I said, well yeah, we could get it. I mean it just snowed and he was serious. He goes, we need to get it washed. Cause it was a white hummer. I had an auto wrapped it yet. He goes, we need to pull over. Like it was an emergency almost like you had to go to the bathroom really bad. And he goes, can we please pull over? And I thought at first he’s kidding. So we go out for Sushi with my partner Doctor Zelner and this guy turns to doctor Zeller and says, I, I went up to go out to the bathroom and I could overhear him talking. And he’s like, have you seen how dirty the outside of that guy’s Hummer is? And so it was just, it bothers top performers. And I want to tap into this next question. Being late. I, I’ve never talked to you before, but I know that you hate it when people are late. Why do you hate it when you or anybody else’s late?
Oh, somebody must have talked to you about me and you’re a minute late. What does it mean? It’s a half an hour. It’s just basic than half an hour walk people. But just told the outreaches. Did I do you have to take that away from the people that you’re dealing with. If this among men authority, it doesn’t mean difference. It is just wrong. If, by the way, if I had a median tree glock, I would, I would lock the door a minute off the tree. I, if I would have meant a minute,
wait a minute, wait a minute. The door
lying, I meant three o’clock
would you lock the door? Would you literally lock the door?
You better believe it. Yes.
Yes. There’s one listener out there I want to send this to. I can’t do it. I had a former partner back in the day and I had majority stock in the business and I said, if you are late, I’m locking the door. And when I started locking the door, he could not handle it and that’s what broke up the partnership I took over and things went well. So that is a, that right there being late. You can’t Horst, I don’t believe it’s possible to become the head of anything. If you don’t pick up trash when you walk by it, if you’re chronically late. Do you agree? Do you disagree with that
three o’clock or whatever time it is? Why would you say that if you don’t mean it? I’m not lying. I, if it would have meant three minutes off sensory, I would have said so. I meant three o’clock okay.
That is powerful. Now, this next idea, I’m not sure, were you raised in a Christian background or was it more of a secular world? What, what’s, what’s your religious background?
Well, Christians, if your bill, we were Lutherans but in one today I would, and I don’t want this care.
Get me the hell. I’m calling myself a born again. Christian means I have accepted that Christ is higher than I am and accepting him to be my leader. And, and, and uh, anything else for me is arrogant.
Well, I want to ask you this because there is a Bible verse that speaks about this concept called work as unto the Lord. And I didn’t figure this out too. I was about 19 years. I was working at target and my boss Horse told me, clay, somebody is eating all of the pretzels. And of course I was eating all the pretzels and I’m like, I don’t know. I don’t know who it. He’s like, well, it has to be you or someone on the shift because someone’s getting all the pretzels. Well, long story short, you know, I was always late. I was always eating all the pretzels. I was always getting all the criticism. I was always being quote unquote, micromanaged. Then someone introduced me to the book, think and grow rich, which is not in the Bible, but it’s written by Napoleon Hill and I decided to name my son, by the way, after Napoleon Hill, his name is Aubrey, Napoleon Hill, Clark, and a.
After reading that book, I started getting into this crazy book called the Bible. And there’s a as a as a verse, Colossians three 23 where it reads, whenever you do work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for quits. Carlton customers, ah, work and work is unto the Lord, not as for shareholders, work as unto the Lord, not as unto your manager. Since you know that you’ll receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. I want to ask you, where do you, when do, where do you get that? Where did you get that idea to take customer service to the next level and to revolutionize the hospitality industry
who said don’t vote, come to excellent, but then go on and being a Christian. I look, uh, Jesus said, love your neighbor as yourself. Why would you not think that your guests or your employees or your neighbors? My goodness, what a, what a and what an amazing thing. Love your neighbor. Said what? Amazing. Who can say something that’s not Christ in my opinion. And, and uh, and uh, so at that had Mel very much impact on me. But if you read my book, you will also see a tell a story about that by another Christian believe in and that his son battle, but telling me some benedict, I’m sorry, St Benedict and year 500 roads to his ministry, his to his, to his, um, monasteries and said even a customer of a guest arrived at that time. Travel has stopped in monasteries for shelter when the guests arrive receive him and Ben did not travel anon or receive him as if it was Christ himself and not on it. That if you’re on a fast break your fast and have dinner with them so that they’re not alone but, but first wash their feet. Now if that is, that is hospitality, I cannot come close to that, but that’s the goal. To be as close as possible to care that much is caring. I mean everything. Christ, it was the greatest thing of all is his laugh. My goodness. You mean only for some people? No, laugh is to create a thing. Why wouldn’t you laugh your guest? Why wouldn’t your laugh your employees
in your book? Which by the way, excellence winds is a great read. It’s a no nonsense guide to becoming the best in the world of compromise. You talk about these four year, you write about, I felt like you were talking to me cause I’ve watched her youtube videos, so I’m reading it. It feels like you’re talking to me. Uh, apologize for that by the way. But in your book you talk about these four supreme objectives. Objective number one you write is to keep the customer. What does that mean?
To keep the customers at the hip? Doesn’t mean they to written to have to say, what is it that I have to do to keep this customer? What is it? Well, what you have to do is give that customer what the customer wants done mean says they get in their heads and understand what they want, where they are in about not what your mother in law told you or somebody set aside in the plane or you need, but know what your market tells you they want. That’s what you give them. Number one, that’s what the company does. Number two, you’ll find new ones. Number three, you get as money, much money from the customers you can do, but wait a minute, if not at the cost of losing the customer, that means you have to give them value. You have to give a value for everything you charge and the effect is it guests that is loyal.
That means you don’t lose your customer. It’s a lot. That’s a loyal guest, that guest once to deal with you and by other things that you produce because loyalty means nothing else, but they help develop trust in you. So they trust you to become loyal and so every effort has to be sure you make sure that they don’t lose them so that their lawyer, number two, you find Newman’s number three you get them. As I say, you’re charging your cell number for you work efficiently. That’s a great company, but the key element here and nothing can interfere in it, is make sure that the customer wants to come back and his loyal. Again, loyalty is nothing else but it develop trust. In what you’re doing.
I want to tap into your brain on this because you said something there that I don’t think the listeners quite understand what you’re, you’re saying you are talking about keep the customer and there is a guest we’re going to have on the show here. He’s the best selling author, John Ruhlin. And he stayed in one of your hotels, uh, the written one of the Ritz Carltons and he was having a, a guest of honor stay in the hotel and he was going to meet him and he found out that his favorite guest was a, this is a guy he’s really trying to impress. He found out that his friend and his guest of honor, um, was a fan of a certain clothing line. And does he, when he was, this is kind of, we had a startup, you know, a very, uh, uh, just a baby called Giftology.
So what he did was he went into a department store and bought all of the clothes in that guy’s size, the entire line, the entire season’s line. He said he spent $10,000 on clothes for this guy to impress this guy when he didn’t have a whole lot of money and he goes to the Ritz and he said, could you guys help me display it like a retail store? You know, like, like, like, like a department store. And he said, the Ritz Bellman said, sure. Can you talk to me about the limits to which you would allow your team to go? And I was too far to go to keep the customer.
Every employee, every single employee has the right to spend up to $2,000 to make sure that it becomes loyal
up to $2,000
that’s correct. It’s, it’s some people in some cases people out to ever be shocked. But believe me, it was a business decision and it varies is the decision very simply happened. We met and we met an analysis with word analysis, study what the guest really wants from us when they are and what they mean when they say they feel at home. And as it turns out, they didn’t want to feel at home. The one to feel like they, in the subconscious memory, they remember the mother’s home where everything was done for him on he has the big piece that came to it and when something went wrong, for example, the, in that moment they went to their mom and said, mom, I don’t feel good. This is something terrible happened. Mom would take him in the arm and said, I’m here for you. What can I do?
Mom never said, I called a miniature. What we do, what you do. When the complaint, when we learned that, we realized, oh my goodness, we don’t make a decision that customer that has a problem. For example, on this case, you didn’t need that needed, just help that guest. All they want is to be respected, to be heard, to pick, taking care of, not waiting for a manager. They want to get rid of their frustration, so we taught everybody to be empowered. Everybody truly empowered to move heaven and earth. They’re all, everyone is responsible to keep the guest. That’s everybody’s responsibility. Not, not checking us, just checking somebody in, but by the way, they check somebody in, convinced the guest, the one to come back. Everybody’s responsible, everybody. And for that you have to empower people because sometimes decisions have to be made. Like in this case that cost some money, but it’s worth it because we also know as a business person, what’s the value of a lifetime customer. I knew that. I knew how all that my customers average miss once I know how much to every spent, I know how they could, how much they could spend it in their life and believe you me, it was worth spending $2,000 potentially by the way. No employee ever spend that much and they bought breakfast or do some things like that. Government did spend some extra time, got some closing recs and so on. But it created the image that we had in the credit loyalty.
New customers. Talk to me about the dangers of running a business and not always being focused on getting new customers.
Well the history of La, well otherwise sure your issue customers soon, sooner or later it will be all dead. Otherwise she has no, you have to keep on, you would have to keep on. Besides that an organization has to keep on growing and that means you have to find new customers ongoing. That is an absolute absolute must. Now I, I rely, I rely, we relied on and now I have, now I know to accompany Capella, we really, we don’t advertise, we will rely totally on word of mouth by our customers meaning versus mouse that they take back to the travel agencies, et Cetera, et cetera and the PR that they’re making and they’re is totally successful. We don’t advertise. It’s totally successful and we relied totally there. But the other, we of course we rely on other selling means we go to conventions with, with travel agents, et cetera. But so we constantly are very busy and we measure if our customer base is growing or not and we expect our cosmic role based to Croak in each hotel consistently. So we make sure that happens.
No objective. Number three you write about is you want to encourage the customers to spend as much as possible but without sabotaging rule number one.
That’s correct. No, no. What we meant with that, I said before, I flippantly make sure the customer spends as much as possible does. That is misunderstood. Of course when somebody hurts that we were saying we should be so good that the customer is willing to pay more for our hotels. Then for another hotel room, that’s how good we should be end. We know that if we accomplished 0.1 loyalty in that moment, the guests will buy more from us. In that moment the guest says they feel trusting the organization that if we don’t have to go out for dinner somewhere else, I’m sure food in this hotel is good and this is good for any business. Once they trust you, they will buy other products from you. That’s why there’s point number one is so important. It impacts the, I tried to make a state mandate that number one impacts the financial.
No. You, you wrote here objective number four, you said keep working towards more and more efficiency. I’d like for you to talk more about that.
Yeah, well it’s particularly in mind be assistant. I believe that’s true in every business. Everybody talks about saving money of course and a Ridely soul and but unfortunately it’s often done by taking away value from the customer. I have seen enough hotel all of a sudden just soap in the bath room becomes a little smaller and of course the manager gets applauded because he makes more money and suddenly the flowers are gone from the table. The Piano is not playing in the afternoon anymore. That is cost cutting. That is not efficiency. Take away from the guest in order to make or from the customer in order to make my money is cost Scotty and it’s sooner or later I will destroy you because it will hurt your name and your organization. Efficiency is something else. Efficiency is finding how we can save money from yourself, meaning you.
How, if, if I can improve my work process to give you a given, given, given service without taking away from you, that means I take, I find time, I find how to do it more efficiently. I eliminate mistakes. That’s the key piece, to find the mistakes in the organization and eliminate them permanently one by one. Because every time, think about this, this, this, this is beautiful. Every time you eliminate the mistake, you really improve your product and you’ll lower your cost. Now that is efficiency and the current organization is constantly trying to find the smallest mistake, find the root cost eliminated so that mistake will never ever happen again. And that and that moment you have a better organization for everybody and you save money.
I don’t know what to get a guy who’s up in the founder of a hotel chain. I’m gonna give you one. Okay, now we move on. So you talk in your book, you write in your book, right? Repetition is a good thing. Now you write in your book, repetition is a good thing. Proverbs ten four and the Bible says that God blesses the diligence. Diligence means the steady application of effort, Aka consistency, repetition, freaks, a lot of people out. My friend. Why is repetition a good thing?
Well, I’m, I’m in my book, I’m talking about and what Mandy, for you for the teaching of your organization in a way it’s a thing of management. We tell employees in the beginning when they come, what should be done and then we believe that they’re not a forever, which is of course ludicrous. They don’t, not fiber. We don’t, I don’t remember everything was told in the beginning. We never worked somewhere. So how you cannot do that. But we identify and that’s what I’m explaining, that we identify really the most important things in our organization and we teach that the first day in employee starts and then we repeat them. We repeat them. They’re 24 points and every day today, maybe point 11 every time they, we, we teach one point in every hotel and every department, one of the points, one of the points, it’s been taught to them maybe point 11 if you get a complaint, you own it. If you’re a waiter and they complained about the washroom, you own the washroom and you’re accepted, you forgive and you make amends. No point 11 will come up again in, in, in 24 days. And so we repeat these points that are important and differentiate us from the competition.
When do you do that?
They one point is repeated. Repetition is very good. Well, when some people who rejected it in our, in our company beginning, well everybody knows that that’s kind of silly. So I asked the question of all general managers assembled because they are the one who rejected it. Does everybody in the room know what Coca Cola is? Raise your hand if you don’t know nobody reads then so you all know it. So the question is why do they still advertise? Because it has, you have to keep it alive. You have to repeat it. That if it is important, right? Repeated and repeated. Make it simple and repeated and repeated and repeated.
When do you do the repeating?
You cannot go to work today. Point 11 nobody in any hotel of ours. That’s Capella in this case is the Oriscon was the same before every shift. No ma’am. My Newbie, a 24 hour business before every shift you cannot go on in the shift without going through two, three, four minutes session. With that point is repeated and reexplained
I’m starting to get a feel for your commitment to excellence is getting very practical things. A lot of listeners, we’re taking tons of notes and you can get drivers. We’re just giving you like a 5% dose of the book excellence excellence wins. By the way, your book is endorsed by Ken Blanchard who we just had on the thrive time show the best selling author of the one minute manager. So this book is quality reading Paul Hood with Hood Cpas. You had a question here from Mr HHorst Schulze I do Horse Tay, this Paul Hood Hood, CPA’s dot com. It’s a pleasure to talk to you. You, you don’t know this, but you revolutionized my
business as a CPA. Um, back in the day for years, I was always taught the traditional client service, customer service, guest service, whatever it is that that is one aspect of business, a separate, completely separate part of business is marketing and advertising. And um, so I rocked along with traditional business, traditional CPA and then read multiple books. And, and your, the way Ritz Carlton did it kept coming up that basically the, that they are one in the same, that that people, the way they’re treated and how they feel when they leave a Ritz Carlton, that’s marketing. So it’s not only customer service, guest service, but it’s also marketing. So was that an intentional thing? Did you start with that or is that just kind of a byproduct?
Absolutely. We, we, we clearly stopped what did you like in a hotel? And they said, gee, the food or the room. Then they have to feel good to have just said, it was just overall great dismay this way. We won that case to become an advocate. It, we won that case to one to come back and recommend us. And, and, and in the case of Ios, mind noise, talking to higher market segment, many of those guest, I’m not just just guests to influences and some of them control other people. So that’s that. So we met, resubmit, said it’s opposite. Sure. That every guy that, that we, uh, convinced that get that to us is truly marketing through every single marketing to every single individual
horse. I got a follow up to this, not really questioned, but just a confirmation of what you’re doing. My wife and I were on a cruise one time and, and you know, the cruise was okay, you know, and they’re, they’re vetted as being just, you’ll the high end luxury everything you want there. And we got in the middle of this cruise and my wife said, you get me off this boat and you find me a Ritz Carlton. So we literally, we literally walked off the boat in, in, uh, uh, American Virgin Islands with our suitcases and they said, you can’t do that. And I said, yeah, we are. And spent the rest of our trip at a Ritz Carlton. So Bravo,
no other mega point for you. Now, sir, I have, I’m going to go, this is going to be kind of our, our lightning round where I’m going to fire through questions. It kind of a faster pace here. Um, and there are questions Horst Schulze at some people could say, could be a little bit offensive. Uh, so let’s go with the first scenario. Let’s say, well, let’s say this. Let’s say that, uh, you’re, you’re coaching a leader, a business leader is hired you to consult his business. You know, you came in to speak and well, and then you said this line, you said the line leaders have forfeited the right to make excuses. And they say internally, internal dialogue. They say, ah, but my back hurts. And then you say again, I repeat. Leaders have reported at forfeited, have leaders have forfeited the right to make excuses. And again, they’re going, but I have a headache. Can you talk to me about why leaders have forfeited the right to make excuses
a leadership role? I excepted to walk on accomplishing the objective. And if it doesn’t go down sensation, first of all, it could, I’m going to say there’s been a hassle objectives which are good for all concerned. That means the investor, the employee, the customer and society. If you’ve worked for such an organization, you have no right on. Now it comes an excuse right here. People said, well, my organization is not. That’s not your decision to make. When you’re a leader, you have nevertheless accepted that organization’s objectives. And in that moment you have no debt. That you are responsible for finding solutions to the situations that exist. That’s the vocal leader does and of course help other people to help other people, the employees to, to reach that, the objectives. And that’s it. I don’t know. I don’t, the high I leader to IX blend me.
What is wrong in it goes an error if it is the best gig or every excuse. And I can never forget calling, having, having a budget of six 68% occupancy in a hotel in Boston at the time. Uh, and we met 55% and I call the leader and I said, what happened? Wow. The weather in Boston, the weather, you see, he had to critics cues, he and, and he, but he would call it purpose. A reason you had a good reason? No, I awesome. Wait a second. What about the couple of plaza? What the business did they have, they’ve ever slow to you. So tell me, did the guests are having the APP on set because it’s snow and Boston and cold. I’m not going to. The Ritz Carlton is not. So we have no right to, to move immediate to could via we have to find solutions. We have to say, here’s what happened, here’s what we’re going to do next January. That’s what it is. And you know, there is no beauty, there is no reward. There’s no pleasure in the excuse all the Ross lie in the objective.
If you’re managing a team, let’s say you are managing a team, one of your companies and you have a manager that over sleeps for a meeting, shows up late, you know, has an excuse, has a reason. Our traffic, there’s a lot of weather, traffic, traffic and weather, you know. Um, how many times do you put up with that before you fire the person?
Okay. Find a solution, how it comes up, how you make sure that it doesn’t have any money to maybe leave a little earlier. But I understand that can happen and it wasn’t a create violence but it ever, but if the Kramer that dies every few months, that doesn’t work.
Got It. Okay. So once a year, maybe once every year, once a month you’re going to move on.
Well, I think somebody in any employee in minute show or Lr Lra I’m probably should, if they’re good employees earning more in my opinion than, uh, than, uh, than, uh, than other than a paycheck. They’re learning all to the right to make a mistake.
You wrote managers, push leaders inspire. What do you mean?
Sure. Well, if that discussion comes up, lost mom to make Clia ministers also sometimes a great business, but then doing it by, by controlling and forcing and, and, and, and just controlled mostly and hierarchy. Now a leader in a mixed sure. That his employees one to do the child doesn’t means to align. They want to do the chop. They also understand the value to them. If the Chubb is done well, that has to be all communicated and leader knows the objectives are good for all concerned. I said touched on earlier and but the diminisher doesn’t really care about that. And by the way, is the manage, does that make you use the excuses, not the leaders. The miniatures also protecting themselves by saying even if you asked how will we will the year be? Yeah, it probably will be clear. Great. Excepted them always comes this excuse that hangs around there with miniatures, but clearly managers don’t really don’t really care how it turns out for the employees as long as the bottom line is forced.
That makes sense. That makes us, and one of your talks, you said early on at Ritz Carlton, you knew that if somebody walked up to the front desk and as long as you greeted them, helped them check them in within four minutes they were okay. The check in time, as long as it took about four minutes, it was okay. But now with under four minutes. But now with the millennials, it’s about 20 seconds and if they’re not greeted in 20 seconds, they’re upset. They’re afraid of gluten, they’re sharing cars and they’re upset if it takes them 20 seconds. Talk to me about how you are dealing with that increased demand for um, efficiency with time, with your newest ventures.
You have it all mean. It did. I can tell you it is traumatic to change in and time that it crit company that day does also for understands what the customer wants. As we said, we’re early in. The customer really wants three things. Every customer wants to same three things. No matter what you buy. If there’s a bubble, a border or hotel stay or or, or a CPA work, it doesn’t matter that tree fundamental subconscious expectation, but the customer and does number one that the product is defect free. It doesn’t matter what this one defect-free. Number two is timeliness and number. If you buy a bottle of water, you want to, don’t want to leak. You want, you wondered when you wondered. And number three, you it to you, you want the people who give it to you. To be nice to you. We just called service, which I give the special name of service, but the timeliness have, the car has become so important with everything you can destroy yourself as an organization if you’re not timely.
It doesn’t matter what it is, is that if that is calling uh, Comcast and hang on a telephone for two hours, ew, ew, ew, ew, ew. Don’t like that company anymore afterwards. It doesn’t matter what. But this timeliness demand in people has changed dramatically. And we know we don’t. All the guest that we knew, if he can check the people in Russia hour below four minutes, it was okay. Now we know they’re getting annoyed after 20 seconds. We know that. So we have to change our processes. We have to maybe even invest the money and have another person broke on the front desk during the international where we have to change processes. And of course equipment technology and some helps a lot. But, but I assure you in every business person has to know, mind you, I don’t guess those things we started those things. We have to know that timeliness, if you don’t work, Thomas, if you, if you do delivery, if you cannot, that’s why Amazon is so successful because they’re the Luma in time. That’s the real success and you don’t read that. They are talking about other all other reason. That’s the success. Timeliness paying. You get it, you’re not. It’s timely and that is true in every business person has to say, how can I deliver my product more timely?
I know you’re doing speaking events and you’re writing this new book. You wrote this new book excellence and you’re staying happily married. You got a lot going on. Are you aware of how nice the hotels that you own at Capella hotels or have you seen these hotels, good horse? Have you seen how nice your properties are? Have you seen these
to see it because,
well, I mean you’re now,
can you walk the through, I’m not wanting to do a pop quiz where I’m asking you about every single hotel, but can you share with the thrive nation of the half a million listeners out there about some of the locations you have in your Capella hotels portfolio? I can tell, I mean it’s high quality, high quality Craig location, tablet service. By the way we measure, we measured total southern infection on the skin of under 10 top box, top box, top box and this hotel is 96% of the guests up leaf and set top box. I wonder, come back a month to recommend, right?
6% I mean you have to comprehend that that is such world class is it’s mind boggling to accomplish that in a hotel with every stays. Only two nights and two nights they accomplish that. The guest says, I want to come back here, I want to recommend it and create hotel in Singapore. Absolutely create a hotel that is just fabulous and on overlooking the water on on 24 acres. If form a collapse of the, uh, officer’s club or redone into a modern style, uh, chest, fabulous, fabulous service. If it can give you one, one service incident. A friend of mine, I didn’t know he was, they were staying in another hotel and then he checked into the Ritz Carlton. He walked from his room to a meeting room and underway. There was a landscaper in the garden. He walked through the garden who said, Oh, I hope you have a nice day, sir. And he said, I don’t, because you don’t have Fox News on your TV and the landscape. And said, what room are you in sir? And he told them, and you’ve walked on, forgot about it. When he came back to his room, Fox News was turned on. Oh Wow. No, that is service complying to the Geishas guests wishes at all times. And this was not just somebody that was a landscaper who was pulling weeds out of the garden, whom he told that to.
You know in Singapore there go out there and you spray paint a building or you have litter publicly, you know they can Kenya cane people that won’t pick up trash at your Singapore hotel
I want to.
Oh, okay. Okay. Now for the listeners out there, they’re wanting to know more about you and your book excellence wins and your home. Is there a specific website you’d recommend to everyone goes and checks out or
it can be audited. It’s will be delivered starting March 5th
march. Okay. March. It’s a March 5th the book is available if you want to preorder it. I believe you can do that on Amazon.
Absolutely. Done and done the delivery date, the first delivery day is March 5th
now I had one more question for you. I know Paul had one more question as well. Then I have one more question for you because I’m, I’m always curious about the habits and routines of super successful guys like yourself. So I guess it’s kind of a two part question. Throughout your career when you’re running the Ritz Carlton, what did the first four hours of your work day look like? You know like what time were you getting there? What time were you getting up? What did the first four hours of your wood, the first four hours of your day look like?
I walked to gender, restaurants and kitchens to the employee’s area that the laundry and so on on chest, chest to booked it and have connection with the employees. That was the most important. When when we were small we go next and he got to your, when you run the hotel now, not the company, I’m talking about the hotel. When you got to your office, you got to your UNT office and looked at the security report from the night before and all kinds of interesting things happened. You made sure that there was nothing there that you had to follow up on. What happened during the night when you were not there? Somebody coming in trunk. It invariably once a month somebody locked themselves out of their room naked in the corridor.
I don’t know what they’re doing. The car, the negative, I have no idea. They used the wrong door, the opposite and those reports up there that as you go through this, the next thing I have a planning meeting for the rest of the day we did with the steering committee, the steering committee and done we done was male than it was male answer and guests situations, et Cetera, et Cetera, et cetera. And again, going into the operation again seems to be close to the embrace. Constantly close to them, consequential, constantly available to them, not why that’s a key element in a hotel and being the beer close. Allow it be close to guests. If there’s any guests or something, try and be, try and speak with guest. Be about being a host. Joe, you part of the day, you’re a business person and part of the day your leader and part of the day euro. Horst.
What time did you wake up back then?
Well, I usually, I usually was at work or the four seven and then when went home usually about seven eight o’clock when tech often at 10 o’clock one more time just to make around
what time are you waking up at? Five in the morning?
waking up at five okay. You get into work around seven. Yeah. Okay, and did you have a certain book throughout your career that really impacted you?
Well as seven habits really?
That’s important to me because I was kind of driven of Ocean Smith, urgencies, urgencies, how satisfying I take care of it. We’ll make sure that everything worked out fine today. In fact, I got applauded because there was a big party this thank you. Me and every day the vending. When find the check in often convention when fine, everybody’s happy, but I didn’t concentrate on improving his, I mean he really impacted me with the second station do also the urgency and the future really impacted me quite a bit and lately I tell you what impact in me lately that’s kind of different, but a bone born over the book on Bonhoeffer by my taxes and and the way he tells the life of bone often and what what. What part on me is because of many letters that are in there from bone of himself. I could actually felt I could get into his mind into soul what met this. Men think what meant as men, we was thinking totally different than society. We’re thinking at the time and being right.
Are you, are you, are you discussing little context? You’re referencing Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was the German pastor and the Anti Nazi theologian? Is that when we’re talking about,
yeah. Yes, yes. Okay, good. How was he able to sync? Totally different at the time. And Mid Tunxis rolled a fabulous spoke up out and explained and that could all of a sudden understand and, and, and have this strong feeling of yes, uh, an idiot’s just a different feeling than what I had. Another times. Yes, you can do all things we’ve got
Paul Hood is you can do all things. Hot question here for
today’s in society’s terms. Um, you are a massive success. You came from, you came from nothing and became something. Um, I counsel a lot of people usually on the financial side, but I hear a lot, you know, to be successful you have to be a special person. You have to be you either lucky or special or something to that effect versus hard work and being consistent. What would you say was the key to your success? Because you did, I mean, you climb the ropes of, of corporate American and created a name for yourself. Um, was that because you were lucky? Was that because you were extra special? Uh, what would you attribute that to
ask me? No. Success rates con to success of Ritz Carlton. One, many good people, many good people. Uh, personally, I, I had a, if you have one more minute here, I tell you, it depends on me that I had, uh, years ago when I came to the United States first I worked in the Hilton in San Francisco as a room service waiter and I w I knew I was a good way that I’ve worked in the finest hotels in Europe, in room service. There was nothing and the witness, they had not even close my, my experience and my vision was to be promoted in room service when, uh, before I got back again to Europe, that was in 1964 and 65. I’m still here by the way. So my, my wish was to get promoted to room service supervisor. And I had an in because the manager was chairman too, so, and I was a good way, why wouldn’t I get it?
And sure enough it became available, but somebody else got to chop and I was so shy. Now, you know, forgive me when I say now, stupid management and all that things went to my mind and it took me several months before I admitted to myself that the guy who got the chop deserve surf that more after I got over my ego, after my pride, he deserved more. I was late once in a while in the morning I was very tired because I’ve been out partying the night before and I was inconsistent. I wasn’t always the best. I had the best knowledge because my background, but that wasn’t the best and promise myself that will never ever have the coin I had forgotten. I remember my first Maitre d to go to book for excellence and I’d forgotten that. And I said, I will never forget that again. I will never again go to work without creating excellent.
And there will always be five minutes before everybody else and five minutes later and then we’ll give a little more. That is not difficult. So I did it and I’ve got one promotion after they are. That was the moment. That was the moment and unseen and then and then remembering and done. Remember ammonia was institution Christian already, but I remembering remembering excellent, remembering, caring for your people, Caring for people, remembering what my medic told me. Now mind you, I was still very young. I was 24 but I still, everything came back in my memory. What really is excellent and I applied it from there on. I made sure I made a decision to apply it from now on.
I’m honored to have you on the show and I know our listeners are as well and we just, we are so excited and thrive nation. If you’re out there today and you enjoyed today’s show, I would encourage you to go on Amazon today and buy a copy of excellence, wins a no nonsense guide to becoming the best in a world of compromise. Mr Horst, thank you for being on the show today.
I was on that
chop. It is just awesome to have a guest of that caliber on the show world class work and I think if you know, again we talked about this after every show, but the whole point of this show is that your knowledge without application is meaningless. And to quote Thomas Edison Vision without execution is hallucination. So Chuck, what is the action step that you think that all the listeners should take as a result of today’s show? What’s the one action that you got out of today’s show? Well, I would say that you, you need to be real self perspective about being a leader. I really liked the stuff that he had to say about being a leader. And you’re not just a manager or someone in charge. There is a difference between management and leadership. Uh, they action step that I got out of it as well as I think that we’ve got to write down to, I need to write down today how good of a leader are we being on a scale of one to 10, let’s write, let’s rate ourselves there.
Let’s say if 10 is a horse to Sholtz and Han Juan is a terrible manager, how good of a manager are we and what can we do to improve? Oh yes. And the other action item that I, that I thought of during today’s a podcast that really, uh, prompted my attention was this idea that you shouldn’t let feelings dictate your commitments are what you do once you’ve committed to your marriage or to your business or to your team. It doesn’t matter your feelings. I mean screw the feelings. Feelings, frankly, uh, don’t matter. Feelings should not dictate your actions because feelings are followers of your actions. So if you’re feeling right now overwhelmed, you’re feeling stressed, the worst thing you could do is spend your whole day hiding, right? You need to do is you need to get out there and act in spite of your feelings.
We talked about it a lot on the thrive time show as well as at our in person workshops. We talk about how in action is the big giant. So many people are worried about, oh, what do I do? What will just not doing anything is the problem in inspiration is the reward that you get. Inspiration is the reward, but inaction is truly the giant. And action is your sword, right? Cha also, I think a, a lot of people might have, maybe, you know, you’re taking notes, listening to the show. I want to play back that sound clip about feelings one more time because it’s so good. They don’t make it into like a remix rap song or subcon
what we done a few legged unreasonable to even allow that to happen. I’ll think about that. I would rather make a decision what my feeling is rather than make a feeling, make my decision. This is huge. You’ll make a decision on the community kept after five the decision you have to fight against the feelings that tried to interfere with your decision.
And uh, we’ve made a decision here at the thrive time show that 2019 is going to be the year of sharing the year of sharing because the previous three, four years, I only asked people to share the podcast less than 20 times. So if you’re out there today and you know 1400, why, if you, you’ve learned something today from Mr Horst Schulze. Yes. I would encourage you to, to share today’s show on a Spotify or iTunes, iTunes. You could share the link there. You could go to thrive time show.com. Share the link. Yep. Maybe, uh, the shared on Facebook Hashtag us or something shared on Twitter, shared on Instagram. But share today’s show with somebody. Somebody, if you know somebody climbing that corporate ladder or wanting to be a better leader, I know that you know, you want them to be successful. So this is an absolute must listen. And now without any further at two, three, two, oh,
share, share, share, share, share.
If I could turn back time, donut, hip, I could find a way dynamic RJ back all the words that it hurt you and you’d stay. Who would I them all to who you? Ah, Ooh, Ooh. I don’t know why. Also though things and I’ll say, oh, I don’t know why I do the things that I do not share.