This is an email responding to the Leadership Breakfast which occurred on Wednesday, March 2, 2011.
I have been to many of these leadership breakfasts and all of them have said this one thing continuously, WORK HARD!!! Steve, of course, said this again, but he strangely differed from the others I have met before. At first I was confused why I felt so different after the breakfast than I have felt before, but while I am typing this email I now realize that he was different because Steve himself, being our leader, had a leader of his own. When he spoke about, I believe it was J.W. Marriott Senior (the 70 year old guy), he did not have one bad comment to say about him. He could have complained about how much money the guy has or how little he cares but every time the name was brought up he only had positive things to say, now that's a leader! He explained that J.W. Marriott Seniors priorities were in order: family came first, faith came second, and then came his company. Steve then started explaining how family was his most important aspect of life and that came first before all others. I personally sometimes forget how important family is, and I tend to put things in front that I believe are more important but in the end, as Steve explained to me, family will be there through the good and bad times and they will always love you.
Marriott Hotel Company follow two motto. The first one is, "Always be courteous to the employees." I have never heard that before! I have always heard "always be courteous to the customers" but not the employees! I think this is genius, because if you think about it, happy employees means happy customers which then means good business. The second motto he shared with us was, "Success in never final." That is so very true!!! This can also divert on to the tennis court, where even though you win one set does not mean you win the match. And even though you win that match, it does not mean that you won the tournament. And even tough you won that tournament, it does not mean the next week there won't be another tournament. You have to keep on practicing and get better, just as Marriott must keep coming out with new technologies to better there hotels.
Now the most important think I took in for the breakfast was when he spoke about creating your own timing. Now that's incredible! I was always told that if you keep working hard you will get noticed, but what if you don't? And how long will it take them to notice you? Are you supposed to wait till someone dies so that you can get there post? and if so, why would you ever want to wish someone dead, that's awful!!! All of these questions were wracking my brain until Steve answered by stating "that you must create your own timing". You have to put in all you thoughts and create your own job description that will better the company and further your position. Also you will then be remembered as the person you had great ideas, and from then on will most likely not be forgotten which is the main goal in the end. To put yourself out there and get remembered.
I also now realize what it truly takes to be a leader; you must lead by example and not by yelling at someone. You can't expect to have great working employees if you don't want to put in the great work yourself. As Steve said, "A leader is always the first one to come into work and the last one to leave."
As you can see I got a lot out of this Leadership Breakfast and I want to thank Steve (of course), but especially you guys for the simple opportunity of setting this up. It was an eye-widening experience and I don't think I will ever forget what was said in that room, and all the great knowledge that was shared.