5 Insights from Horst Schulze on Leading with Purpose

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How are you leading your organization? Are you doing so with a clear vision? With a plan on how you communicate with all of your business stakeholders when times get difficult?

Recently, I interviewed Horst Schulze, the incredible founder of the Capella Hotel Group and co-founder of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. and author of Excellence Wins. Horst shared some expert advice to help guide leaders who have to make tough decisions as we navigate our way through this pandemic.

During our conversation, Horst provided some specific crisis management advice; he also offered wisdom that leaders can apply in their day-to-day lives during more stable times. Below, I’ve shared 3 snippets from our conversation, with some quotes from Horst to help you succeed as a leader, no matter what phase the economy or your organization is in.

1. Lead Your Organization with Vision and Purpose

“The one thing that leadership doesn’t change is the vision and the objective of the company; that doesn’t go away. You have to keep on relating to it. You have to, yes! There may be strategies to change. For example, when I started Ritz Carlton, the whole objective was the vision. The purpose of the organization was to become the finest service organization in the world. Now, that destination doesn’t change my employees.”

2. Strategies and Systems May Change, But the Vision Remains the Same

“Is the purpose that we have good for all concerned? Is our purpose, our vision, good for the investors? Is it excellent for our customers? Is our vision excellent for employees? And are we serving, at the same time, society? Once that is established, that the vision is so important that it serves all very well—that vision should never change. Strategy changes because of the situation. And systems change. Processes change, people change, but the future—the dream—doesn’t change.”

3. The Survival of Your Company Depends on Good Decision-Making

“Excellence is never an accident. Excellence is a series of careful decision-making: smart, informed decision-making involved with or connected to those that are concerned. Again, it’s not chance that gets you through here. Good decisions. Your destiny depends on the decision that they make. Not on chance. You have to commit still, to those decisions.”

'Excellence is never an accident. Excellence is a series of careful decision-making (...) Again, it's not chance that gets you through here.' said Horst Schulze, co-founder of @RitzCarlton and @CapellaHotels Share on X

4. Go to Work to Create Excellence

“I do not understand people who don’t love his people. I had a philosophy: I go to work for two reasons. I go to work every morning and I remind myself of that philosophy; I go to work to create excellence in what I’m doing. And to be with my friends. I don’t care who they are. They’re my friends. Yeah, I love them. But I do not compromise because I have no right to compromise. I have no right because if a compromise, I’m going against all concerned again.”

5. Communicate Quickly and Clearly with your Stakeholders

“It’s critical to communicate. And that’s why I keep on repeating ‘communicate.’ I keep on telling them , ‘I’m here for you.’ Are you communicating with the investors? I make sure that our hotels communicate with the customers, with the employees, with the investors etc. I keep on reminding them, Be sure when you do contact them, immediately inform and tell them why.”

To watch the full interview or listen/download it as a podcast, click here.

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