One year later, my in-box is half full. Monday, 8th April 2013 Source : Bill Marriott ~ Marriott on the move
It’s been a year since I stepped down as Chairman & CEO and assumed the role of Executive Chairman of the Board.
As I said in handing over the reins to Arne Sorenson, “This business is getting too complicated.” My longtime assistant, Phyllis Hester, told me, “It’s your own fault. You made it that way.” Imagine my surprise when everything at Marriott has kept moving along without me running the day-to-day operation.
I visited some of our hotels in China last year
So, how does a workaholic who has been running at full speed for 40 years pump the clutch and ease back?
You know how much I like fast cars, but my engine wasn’t performing the way it used to. It’s a very difficult admission. During this past year, however, downshifting hasn’t always been smooth. Meeting invites have been fewer. My workload has slackened.
I later learned that the people who loved me the most were responsible for protecting me. As this new normal set in, I realized that when you have good people in place, no one person is irreplaceable. Not even me!
The good news is, the past year has been one of the most rewarding of my life. I’ve been able to take the time to watch my family and my Marriott International family grow up.
A company is like a family, especially when your name is above the door. The lessons instilled at an early age keep you on the right track. I preached our core values every day when I was Chairman and CEO. Now I’m seeing some of those lessons play out in how my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren lead their lives, and in how our business grows.
I’m very encouraged by how this new generation – whatever they call it, the X or the Y or the millennium – embraces these same values. It’s not something you can make up or create in a week. It’s a deep-rooted sense of right and wrong, treating people with respect, and giving your employees an opportunity.
As I begin my second year as Executive Chairman of the Board, I am going to do a few road tests and throw it back a little into high gear. I will continue to visit about 200 hotels a year, and as Mark Twain said, “… light out for the territory ahead.” My in-box is much more manageable, and like my glass of water, it’s half full.
What new territory do you plan to explore in the year ahead? Let me know.
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