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Love Your Neighbor… My Employees Are My Closest Neighbor

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
December 16, 2022 3:04 am

Love Your Neighbor… My Employees Are My Closest Neighbor

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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December 16, 2022 3:04 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, a legend and leader in the hotel world, Horst Schulze has reshaped how service and hospitality are defined in business—standards that have become world famous. Throughout the years he worked for both Hilton Hotels and Hyatt Hotels Corporation before becoming one of the founding members of the luxury hotel chain, The Ritz Carlton in 1983.

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Our American Stories
Lee Habeeb
Our American Stories
Lee Habeeb
Our American Stories
Lee Habeeb
Our American Stories
Lee Habeeb
Our American Stories
Lee Habeeb

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Purchase all free clear mega packs today. This is Lee Habib and this is Our American Stories, the show where America is the star in the American people. And we love to hear your stories. You're the hour in Our American Stories. Send them to They're some of our favorites. And one of our favorite recurring types of stories to tell is the story of founders, of people who start things, who have the courage and the desire to do so.

And it is no simple thing to do and we don't spend nearly enough time in this country talking about people who start things. Today, we're going to tell the story of a legend and leader in the hotel world, Horst Schulze, and how he reshaped how service and hospitality are defined in the business world, standards that have become world famous. Throughout the years, Schulze worked for both Hilton Hotels and Hyatt Hotels Corporation before becoming one of the founding members of the luxury hotel chain, the Ritz-Carlton in 1983.

Horst is also a Christian and tries his best to live by his faith at home and at work. Here's a story of how he deals with and thinks about his employees, his company, and the founding vision of the Ritz-Carlton. We, particularly in our industry, we hire because our industry has over 100% turnover.

They constantly open shops in the hotel and their jobs have to be filled. So what do we do? We hire. And we said, finally, we're not going to do that. We're going to select. We're going to suffer through the open shop until we have somebody who actually fits into it. By the way, we went to the point, it took an average of 10 interviews before we filled the job, including dishwashers.

But we didn't fill them. And then, of course, so we selected, we created a profile around each job category and then hired against this profile. We know that was the talent really needed for this job. So that was the selection.

So we went into major careful selecting. Kind of a funny example here is doorman. Well, we found after we were working and we interviewed our five top doorman that they had all one thing in common. Their hobby was gardening.

Now, wow. But in other words, they like to be outside in a doorman. But what would we have done in hiring somebody?

We probably would have liked somebody that loves computer work in a room somewhere by himself. And we put them in as a doorman and vice versa. But so we did selection and then, of course, orientation. And that was one of the keys, again, of our success.

Absolutely. And I'm absolutely I'm absolutely zealous about that, that the orientation when I see orientation being done in nearly every company is totally wrong. What happens most of the time? Most of the time, the new employee, let's say it's a hotel, it could be any company, any business, the new way that comes to work, the manager, the department head makes this weird team speech, which is pretty pathetic.

It happens everywhere. We're a team here. And then and then what? What is a team? A team is a group of people who help each other to what a common goal, objective vision.

But that's not being the vision is the goal is not being given. It's just we're a team. And so Bill, the new waiter. Now, after the team speech, the boss said now Bill, work with Joe over here because Joe knows the ropes, which is really funny because you're not in a rope business, but somehow he knows ropes. And we turn them over.

And Joe, the waiter that's there nine months and knows the ropes tells Bill the new waiter on the way to the kitchen, this company is no good. That's his orientation. What do we possibly expect from that employee?

It's crazy. We did our orientation. We went so far as to the first day orientation has to happen the first day, because that is when people are willing to change their behavior, because it's the first day to work is a significant emotional event when you can impact behavior. So we didn't do it the second day, the first day. And so far that when we needed a certain job to be filled and we found an ideal candidate, we offered a job to the candidate, but he couldn't come to work until the day of orientation.

But we paid him. The first day had to be oriented. And the first day we talked about who we are. What is do we, how do we treat guests?

How do we how do we say hello? Where are we going? What is the dream of this organization? We invited them to be part of the dream, not part of the function. We hired them and oriented them to be part of a dream, the vision of the company to be the leader in the service industry in the world. In our case, join this dream. But we connected to the motive of the dream also the first day. And here's why we dream about that. Because that will create respect for all of us.

We connected ours to them. That creates opportunity for all of us. That creates honor for all of us. That creates, we define ourselves that way together. That creates more income for all of us.

So that's why you have to join this dream. Adam Smith wrote a book besides Wealth of Nations, where he identified that people cannot relate to orders and direction. And what do we do? We give orders and direction all day long. He said people can only relate to objective and motive, vision and motive.

Bang. There's Adam Smith. And by the way, Aristotle wrote that in order to be fulfilled in life, you need purpose and belonging.

Well, the vision is a purpose that we give people. Why would he give him that? Here is why. And he can buy in. Rather than just giving the direction, you tell him why. And bang, they buy in.

So it becomes a totally different relationship, as you will, and totally different buy in, and a total, again, totally different alignment. Because they know why. They don't know, don't just know. You say, because, what does, what do some bosses say?

Why should I do that? The answer, because. Wow. That's how we treat human beings, that we treat our neighbors. We cannot get away from the fact. If I'm a Christian, I cannot get away from the fact. I cannot dismiss my employees or my customers of not being my neighbors. Come on. It's kind of pretty sad.

I have to give it at least sometimes thought that I have to supposed to love my neighbor as myself and that incidentally, they are neighbors. And a great job on the storytelling by Greg Hengler. And a special thanks to Horst Schulze for sharing the story of the Ritz-Carlton, at least one part, which is how to hire and motivate folks. And he tells a compelling story about how to do so. By the way, his book Excellence Wins, A No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming the Best in a World of Compromise is a must read for anybody leading anybody anywhere. And it all starts with vision casting and motivating folks to do their best. And my goodness, the other thing, clearly, if you've ever been to a Ritz-Carlton is service and service to others and having the mission of the company and the enterprise serving the customer and not the customer serving the enterprise. By the way, I love the quote from Adam Smith. People cannot relate to orders and direction. They respond to vision and to motive.

And no finer words could be said. To hear some of the other Horst Schulze pieces, by the way, go to, including the terrific one about his life story, an immigrant story coming from Germany to the United States. Well, to pursue his dream. And the Ritz-Carlton was not only his dream, but the tens of thousands of employees who worked there.

The story of Horst Schulze here on OurAmericanStories. Passing the ball is fun. The Frito-Lay Pass the Ball challenge is more fun. Join Frito-Lay, the official USA snack of the FIFA World Cup 2022 for their Pass the Ball challenge. Add your picture to the Golden World Soccer Ball and be part of a one-of-a-kind experience. Then, pass the ball to friends for a chance to score custom swag.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-18 00:30:01 / 2022-12-18 00:34:54 / 5

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