Friday, May 3, 2013

Advice from Marriott

William Marriott has a new book out, "Without Reservations," (dangerously and regrettably close to Anthony Bourdain) where he discusses his remarkable success as a hotelier. There is an very indicative story he tells in it.

He was home on leave from the Navy, shortly after graduating from college. Family friends, who happened to be President and Mrs. Eisenhower, were visiting his family's farm, and trying to decide whether or not to go out hunting on a cold day.
He says, "I was standing off in the corner, hiding, and the President looked at me and said, 'What do you want to do, Bill? What do you think we should do?' And I've never forgotten that. No wonder he could deal with Montgomery and Patton and all those people he dealt with in the Second World War, because he made them feel important. He showed respect for them. He showed interest in what their beliefs were, and he asked that very important question: 'What do you think?'"

"I think it's probably the most important thing a successful executive can do - is to listen and learn," he says

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