The Evolution of Leadership and Purpose | FULL SPEECH

Curated By Ralph

My favorite leadership quote is by Eleanor Roosevelt, who said, "Leadership is about making hard choices and being accountable for those choices." To me, it illustrates the importance of having a strong moral compass and being unafraid to stand up for what you believe in. Being a leader is not always easy, but with courage and conviction, anything is possible.

So welcome to day two of ilc although it Feels like we're already halfway through The day so uh really really excited About this day yesterday we had a sneak Peek into the exciting future of the Company uh thank you so much for all of Your engagement uh the excitement was Really palpable throughout the day today We're going to be talking about how do We achieve that future and through the Strength of culture and Leadership and I Have to say I was really reflecting Um yesterday I joined Four Seasons January 2025 minutes before the pandemic Started and so that was a really Interesting time for me and in my own Leadership and what a what a crash Course in the culture of Four Seasons it Was something I'd never ever seen or Experienced before Honestly it will go down in a chapter of Four Seasons that even through the most Traumatic most difficult time in this Company's history are people and our Leadership Supported each other supported our Guests supported our community Communities it was just really really Remarkable and it wasn't even just like Baseline support it was elevated support And actually What we accomplished in that time set us Up for where we are today we did we did Crisis management and we did some things

That really set us up strategically so Just really remarkable and a testament To the leadership of each and every one Of you in the room it is just truly Truly impressive Um so looking to the future we have a Real opportunity to amplify purpose that We talked about yesterday we have an Opportunity to evolve our leadership Evolve our culture and today is a bit of A focus around that it's going to have a Bit of a different feel than it did Yesterday we're going to spend some time Uh reflecting we're going to be spending Some time going inwards we're going to Do a little bit of self-development so It will feel a little bit different than It did yesterday we are super excited we Have two phenomenal world-class speakers That are going to be joining us I mean I'm just blown away that we have them Here to be able to talk to us about Culture about purpose about leadership So it's going to be really fun and Engaging and different than yesterday And I promise your feet well don't hurt As much and so I had to change my shoes So Christian and I are super super Excited about kicking off today and with That I am going to turn it over to Christian No no you go first All right thank you

[Music] Thank you for being here So this is super exciting because Um I'm not going to introduce Simon Because everybody knows who Simon is But it's super exciting because Simon Has not done this since the beginning of The pandemic and he will probably not do This again because he's stopped doing Public engagements in terms of speaking And he can probably explain why but he Did this because Um He loves us he loves you guys he loves Richard he loves the company And I will tell a story because it's a It's a story that I think is relevant Of how we met so we met do you remember When he did the pub down in Miami during Art puzzle some of you were involved and Were there it was a cool event and we Invited David Copperfield to come Sarah Cyrus There sorry I invited David Copperfield And it was like a David cup look okay Great and then David invited Simon to join So Simon comes with David coming you Know putting his shirt down and he's Coming through the boat and everybody's Every time somebody would come up Towards him he'd be ready to to you know Put his hand out to shake and people go

To some and say Good that you're here and David cuppy Will be standing there like You know I mean I was the one who was Invited I should have never invited him You know but needless to say you're a Bit of a kind of rock star at Four Seasons as well and we're lucky because We had um we had the opportunity of Mr And Mrs sharp with us last night and Mr Mr sharp is a rock star in the company As well so we got two rock stars now That's great Um it's A Lollapalooza yeah so super proud as I've told you we spend uh yesterday all Day reconnect it's the first time Reconnect in five years yeah Um and uh and as you know there's been a Bit of a disruption over the past couple Years uh to say the least no travel so I Know you just you just got here right And it's one of the first International Trips you've done in a in a while so how Did that feel yeah this is the second International trip I've taken uh since Pre-covered since 2019. Um I still keep saying last year in mean 2019. Um uh uh the first one I went to London And uh Paris and Stockholm and I got Covered in Stockholm those bastards Um uh uh but this trip has been has been Wonderful as well it's wonderful it's

Nice to be it's nice to be on the road Again it's I mean not not for work it's Nice to be traveling again is what I Mean And I mean you the process of traveling and Getting to a hotel like this Anything change in your perception Versus prior to to covet [Music] Um I mean you know some people I I have to Say I love wearing masks I think it's The best thing in the world uh it's like Oh yeah I love it I wear I wore masks on My flights I I think it's the best thing In the world uh it's nothing to do with Covid it's I don't want your cold I Don't want your cough I don't want your Flu you know I've gotten sick so many Times being on planes that now that the Sort of social Acceptance in the west to Wear a mask you know you have to Consider the difference between the East And the West the East if you're sick you Wear a mask to prevent other people from Getting sick in the west we were mad we Wear masks to prevent getting sick from You you know uh I mean I think the East Has something figured out that we don't This is sort of public service but Anyway I I still love I I yeah I'm all About it I think you should join our lead with

Care yeah program Dr zenderman is going To be very happy to meet you Yeah I'm big into service if you're a Sick wear mask I think it's a great idea So obviously the The the uh the pandemic of the past two Years has been uh Obviously a huge disrupture hospital has Been impacted More than many other Industries as you Know uh and this team here has done an Incredible job you know not only Surviving but really thriving uh through It Um but from a leadership skills Perspective from you know how you lead People Post pandemic what do you think are some Of the big shifts and big changes that We have to adjust to As Leaders as we Lead our teams when when covet hit it Was fun to sit back and watch the Leadership reactions Um of organizations and it was inspiring To see that whether people were good Leaders or bad leaders where they were Effective or ineffective prior to covid They all most of them lean back on their Own Humanity you know where it was Normal for people to pick up the phone And say are you okay is your family okay We had more patience you know if Somebody was struggling and their kids Were struggling or had a sick family

Member we we were okay you know we sort Of allowed them to take time and and for Me the the joy in that was that's just Good leadership you know it's a shame That it took a pandemic for people to Learn how to care about each other and I Really hope that those skills that People use naturally uh continue after Covet sadly I'm sure a lot of them will Will forget And uh You know a lot of it's just what I Consider good leadership I uh ideals Happened organically so another one was I talk about this idea of the uh the um The worthy rival So I don't believe in the sense of Competition you know we live in a world Where there's no such thing as winning Business it doesn't exist right Um uh where two organizations who sell Basically the same product for basically The same price basically the same Quality can both be wildly successful Simultaneously you know there's no Winning and so when companies talk about Their competition to me it doesn't make Sense because competition a competitor Is another player you want to try and Beat which means you spend too much time Focusing on what they're doing And you spend too much time comparing Arbitrary metrics whether it's profits Or revenues or market share or a number

Of properties or number of employees or Number whatever it is they're arbitrary You get to pick what you're making the Comparison and you're all proud of Yourself when you win at the end of the Year but the game doesn't end Um I prefer the concept of a worthy Rival And a worthy rival is another They may they may or may not be in your Industry but it's another player in the Game who does one or many things better Than you In other words their strengths reveal to You your weaknesses And you can study them you can be Grateful for them but try and competing Against them is is pointless Um but the whole idea is that the the Only true competitor in the game of Business is yourself how do we improve What we're doing and learn from those Who do similar things to us rather than Trying to beat them and one of the Things that I saw in kovitz struck which I found so fascinating is everybody was So preoccupied with their own Survival That the total number of companies that Had any kind of presentation about our Competitive threats was Zero nobody was Worried about their competitors because They were just trying to survive well That's correct that is the right Mentality in a good Market or a bad

Market which is uh how do we even if Times are good how do we survive for 50 100 150 years rather than how do we Maximize this year and then and then Blow all the wealth at the end of the Year you know Um uh so I I that some of those things That kovid sort of revealed are really Good leadership skills that I hope I Hope Stay Way Beyond kobit yeah And so what are some of the you know uh What are some of the change that we that Companies need to make to have this more This less competitive approach and more I guess it's what you write about in the Infinite infinite game right yeah yeah What what does that look like like how Does a leadership team like this think About well how do we focus on what what We can do better versus how we can beat Our company right well as I said before Like pick you can it's you can pick your Unworthy Rivals Um you can pick any company for any Reason and say they're better than us You know what can we learn from them Um I'll give you a real life story that Really captured this for me Um and it's it's Um it's in the book but I'll tell it to You Um uh I spoke at a

Uh education Summit for Microsoft And then a few months later I was Invited to speak at an education Summit For Apple At the Microsoft Summit this back in Steve Ballmer days Um in the Microsoft Summit Um the vast majority of the Presentations by the executives spent Most of their time talking about how to Beat Apple At the Apple Summit 100 of the Presentations were how to help teachers Teach and how to help students learn One was obsessed with beating their Competition the other one was obsessed With advancing their mission Um at the end of my talk at Microsoft They gave me a gift They gave me the Zune when it was a Thing this was Microsoft's response to The iPod And this little piece of technology I Have to say was really very very good it Was quite a good little piece of Technology it didn't work on an Apple so I couldn't use it that's a different Problem but it was it was very good so At the end of my Apple talk I was Sharing a taxi with an apple executive And I couldn't help myself I just had to Stir the pot And I turned him I go you know Microsoft Gave me their new Zune and it is so much

Better than my iPod Touch And he turned to me and he said I have No doubt And the conversation was over [Laughter] Because he understood this was an Infinite minded organization he Understood That sometimes The your competitor will do something Better than you and sometimes you'll be Better than them there's no such thing As winning or losing there's only a head In behind and where Microsoft was Obsessed with beating apple apple was Obsessed without doing itself And so the great irony is just a couple Years after that Apple released the iPod The iPhone So where Microsoft was obsessing with How to make a better iPod Apple was on To the next thing didn't even care and That's the whole idea which is Absolutely study and learn from the Other players you see I don't even call Them competitors the other players in Your industry see what they're doing Better like I said it reveals your Weaknesses and say we can do better than Than ourselves grow eventually they no Longer become worthy of comparison Anymore because you you advance Yourselves but the whole idea is Apple Was thinking about what they could do

Next not how they could beat Microsoft To get more market share for an iPod So learn from others and how you can be Better absolutely like I said their Strengths reveal to your weaknesses and That's a gift So let's switch topic um and we're Amongst friends here so we can be fully Transparent so one of the areas of Opportunity that we have when we look at Our Employee Engagement service is and It's surprising to me because because of Our culture is Trust And especially at the mid monitoring Level and uh and you know we had Conversation about this but you talk a Lot about trust and the importance of Trust within organizations and I think That you know I'm super proud of you Know the culture that we have that goes Way back Mr Sharp was talking about you Know the Golden Rule well before anybody Wrote about you know company cultures Um I think we also very genuine as a Company as Leaders Um and yet here we have this opportunity Right especially with our Um kind of you know hourly line Employers Any advice first in terms of uh you know What what we could think about doing Differently So we have to remember trust as a Feeling

Right uh it's not a it's not a command Or an order they trust me it doesn't Work trust me it's like a used car Dealer uh Um uh It's a feeling and that feeling comes From people feeling psychologically safe Um you know I use the story of Noah to Help tell this which is you know Managers not just his managers stop by To say are you okay is there anything You need on a regular basis and he said It himself versus Caesar's Palace he Says only at the Four Seasons do I feel I can be myself His Charming funny you know uh quirky Self That the Four Seasons the one of the Things that I love about you is you know When you get into the luxury Hospitality It it it it starts to feel like putting On white gloves And it starts to feel Um tight you know and your definition of Luxury is the opposite which is it's Much more human and you allow for people Not to follow a script but you allow Them to be themselves and interpret what It means to care their own way which I Absolutely love Um the hardest part about it and and This this uh this time is more difficult Now than ever before because people are Psychologically burnt out

Uh people are exhausted people are Uncertain anxiety is an all-time high And young people who are coming into the Workforce who've never really had a job Before you know they They have an expectation that is Almost impossible to reach so for Example if you go back to like the 1950s The 1960s Um you know we got our sense of purpose From church we got our sense of Community from bowling league we got our Sense of we had we had barbecues on the Weekends with our neighbors Um and work was loyal to us and we were Loyal to work we worked there until we Got a gold watch Um and you know but it but work was Primarily a place that we we got money To pay our bills Um there's an entire Generation Now who When I talk about the gold watch they Don't know what I'm talking about like There is no such thing anymore between Loyalty from a company or a loyalty to a Company and we can thank Jack Welch for That Um for you know 30 years of of Destroying that kind of uh that kind of Thinking It's true I've made it my career to undo Everything he did Um um and and now you know uh attendance Church attendance is way down

There's no such thing as bowling leagues Anymore We don't really know who our neighbors Are And so we're looking to work to provide All these things for us we're looking to Work that you have to give me a sense of Purpose you have to give me a sense of Community this is where my social life Has to be Now you have to agree with all of my Politics as well And the newest one that's really since Covid Um you have to be my place for therapy As well right and much like the Unreasonable expectations people are Putting on romantic Partners like no one Can live up to the standard that you're Hoping for me I think that the standard That especially young people are putting On the expectations on a place of Employment on a work family are are Impossible for any company to meet And we've seen it in our company and I've seen it in other companies as well Where for example and again particularly Young people but not exclusively Um Because the stress is high and remember The way work used to work and it's Slightly different for you because it's Still mostly in person but the way work Used to work which is you go to work

And then after work you go out with your Friends and you complain about work Right which is totally healthy which is Totally healthy by the way you know Bitching and moaning about your boss is Totally fine and that that venting is Totally fine right you have a safe space To let it out But we didn't get the opportunity to go Out with our friends that was taken away From us right and so we went to work Whether in your business in person or or But then we didn't Go to the the bar or the pub afterwards Or we didn't go out for dinner Afterwards we had no outlet for the Stress and so we did was because we're Spending most of our time with people From work we talk to people at work And so now you have you have an increase Of venting at work you know beyond the Usual amount and especially if you're in A virtual environment uh uh uh negative Narratives or false narratives can swirl Up like crazy Um and worse Young people in particular but not Exclusively would find the one or two Empathetic ears that they worked with And they would unload all of their Problems not just complaining about work And my boss but you know I I my my Relationship is struggling I'm Struggling with my parents I'm uncertain

About the future the war in Ukraine you Know George Floyd it's like On one person venting Uh because that person is empathetic and Listens and takes it all in but the Problem is is that person is now taking On everybody's stress and so you have People who are burnt out not from work They're burnt out because they have Overloaded by everybody else's problems Now because we're expecting work to be Our therapy Um and so we are in a peer and I and the The the good news is we can we can see Some of the patterns the bad news is I think we're in such a period of Incredible flux That what the future of work looks like Is still so uncertain like what does it Mean to have a full-time job Like we saw this in covid you know I'm Doing my work nobody cares if I start at 10 or go to eight or work random hours You know go to the vet in the middle you Know no nobody's really it's okay so I'll take a second full-time job And you know why can't if I'm not Letting anybody down and I'm able to Maintain the pace Why can't I do that and one employer Will say well you can't do that because We pay your benefits you're full time With us but who says like so the Definition of full-time employment is up

Is up for grabs Right Um I think people are demanding it You've talked about this people are Demanding more flexibility because they Had it You know like the the Pandora's Box is Open no putting the genie back in the Bottle Um uh Uh and so what is the definition of of a Full-time job is up in in is up in the Is is up for grabs I think these things Are unresolved and I think there's an Opportunity for any company but a Company like yours is to start to Define These things so that other organizations Can learn from you Um because the best organizations we Will copy them And you know just by way of example the Way Airbnb handled its layoffs they did They laid off ten percent of their Employees during covid Um and the way that they handle it was Absolutely exquisite Right you're doing something traumatic And Um they were very generous with their Packages more generous than uh I know Some of the behind the scenes it was Chesky branchesky this year who pushed For the company to be more generous But the thing that I found most

Impressive was the day that the layoffs Went into effect That day a website went up Talent where they put everybody's resume Online In a central Hub to help them find Employment so they didn't just let them Go and give them money they set them up To help them find employment and by the Way we rated that website as well We needed online Talent we needed Programmers we needed those things we Went straight to Talent the Fact that they did that was brilliant Because it shows that we care and treat You with dignity even if we have to do The awful thing of as of asking you to Find employment somewhere else we're Going to try our best to and and others Will copy them that's what I mean about About setting an example that others Will copy That was an amazing answer wow I learned a thing or two in here right You like that You it was worth the trip you you we Could step right here and we'll be well Ahead of where we started well I You're giving me too much credit because I didn't answer your question that's Okay I'm used to that you're not a very Good listener but you are a good talker I have I have a I have a a A long list of failed relationships that

Would agree with you Um uh You are in a very difficult and Uncomfortable position Because I think leadership is more Difficult now than it has ever been Because you're dealing with you dealing With human anxiety you're dealing with Human uncertainty you're dealing with Human ambition and human Egos and and Again especially young people who think They know what they want and don't who Have certainty and are very outspoken And do not mind going around their Boss's boss to come to you You know so you're going to be dealing With a 19 year old saying why am I not Given this and you're like I don't where Are where do you work you know Um Uh they have no fear Of doing that they also have no fear of Quitting And so we've seen this pattern where Remember they're very they're as a Young Generation they're actually less Equipped to deal with stress than Previous generations Uh and and so anxiety is high and They're very confrontation avoidant So for example we've seen this where They feel like they deserve a raise And they don't know how to ask for a Raise

And so instead of asking for raise They'll just quit And then sometimes with an email that Says you don't value me you don't pay me Enough you're like you just had we just Had to ask the answer we love you you Know So they're not afraid of quitting but They are afraid of asking for things or If they do ask for things that sometimes Crumbs across very aggressive or Accidentally black and white like I've Been here Um eight months and I would like a 50 Raise And I'm not exaggerating I mean you've You know and and uh and the problem is That they're ill-equipped what they're Doing is they're they're putting you in A yes or no position So even if you say here's the plan to Get you that over the course of the next Eight months They take it as a no Because I asked for something black and White and so one of the things I think There's a huge opportunity for a company Is to help people to build in training That helps them uh with their human Skills I hate the term soft skills Please let's never use that term again You know we talk about hard skills and Soft skills those things are opposite Hard and soft are opposites they're hard

Skills the skills you need to do your Job and human skills the skills you need To be a better human being and we want You to excel at both and we're going to Train you to do both And some of the human skills that are Underappreciated and under trained in This day and age Are how to have difficult conversations Had of an effective confrontation how to Give and receive feedback And I think we have to train those Things so that if we equip them with the Skills instead of saying I've been here For eight months I want to raise to say I've been here for eight months I really Love it here my goal is to stay here I have Um Financial Ambitions can you help me Get on a path to get to this number now We can have a conversation because it's Now a Continuum rather than a black and White question but the point is is I Don't fault them they lack the skills And so I think there's a huge Opportunity for an organization like Yours to teach these young people coping Mechanisms stress relief the biggest one Being how to ask for help that is the Single biggest thing that is lacking at Every generation Which is I am struggling can you help me Whether it's personal or professional That is absolutely lacking and so we do

Unhealthy things to help compensate Social media and other things Interesting that can also inform our Learning and Development platform Obviously Um okay we're going to switch topic Again and I wanted to make sure we have Some time for Q a but those are Important uh important topics and I Don't want to stop you because you're Obviously very insightful on on any type Of stream again so diversity inclusion And belonging topics something that um I think we're uh you know if I were Politically correct I would tell you oh Yeah we've made great progress and we're Working really hard on it and we have a Great plan yeah the truth is you know You just look around the room and the Reality is I think we have a long way to Go yep Um and it's not for lack of caring Or uh I think it's it matters to all of Us we also have a company where we Promote from within heavily because Um you know that's how we got to where We are today yeah and so Um what are others doing there's many Companies that are face the same reality That we do what are other doings that to Your point earlier that we can learn From not competitors yeah yeah but what Was it uh worthy Rivals worthy Rivals Yeah that are doing that that you say

Hey look at that you know this could be A good uh good direction well I think Most importantly and you seem to be Doing this most importantly is you see It as a journey rather than event I Think the companies that are doing it Wrong view it as an event which is we Have this issue we're not as diverse as We need to be and so let's fix that flip A switch you know go in a hiring binge Ta-da right Um and the problem is it's it's that's Not how that's not how it works which is This is a journey of of making our Organization more representative of the General population and to say we have to Do better just being just acknowledging That you're that you there is room for Improvement I think is a big part of it Um but obviously Um um where are you looking to hire who Are you asking to to to make Recommendations Um uh uh all of these things matter I Mean it's literally just opening the Opening the the aperture one of the Things we have to recognize is we all Have an inherent bias which is we we Look for people who look like us you Know and and to stop doing that Um also go to other companies ask them Who's really good Um but the the fact that you're treating Is a journey that you will never

Actually the point is you'll never Actually be perfect it's going to be a Striving for the rest of time You know Um uh because it's there's three words There it's diversity inclusion and Belonging belonging comes from your Values and your and your purpose Um diversity comes from what it looked Like but inclusion is how people feel Yeah so it's one thing to hire somebody But do they feel like they're valued and Included and part of the organization so All of those are strivings none of those You'll ever be perfect at none of those You'll ever complete Um but it is it is a game of constant Improvement So now I'd like to talk about something That you probably don't know much about But it's okay I've still asked you a Question Um the purpose and why Um so we just you know we we uh we have In this journey where we've had this Amazing culture Based on the Golden Rule which is all About how we behave and and and then we Have been thank you Um we've thought about the impact that This can have on the world and we have Uh socialized our purpose which I think Resonated with everybody in the room and Even resonate with Mr Sharp

Um and it was interesting because I when You know Anna and I mentioned it to you Because obviously we wanted to get your Perspective you had nothing to say you Were like That's good And I think it's unusual for me which is Unusual because normally you destroy Everybody so Um I mean in a nice way So this is coming from the Air Force See Antoine it was not a compliment That's good All right Um so what what about it resonated and What did you feel it was it was a good Purpose so Um I mean I have a bias with the word Inspire inspire you know Um To me to to make that an action rather Than a result you know to inspire I love That which is you think how to it's it's A it's a it's a standard by which you Have to live by right did you inspire Someone today yeah you know Um I have a thing I I I've abandoned it Lately but I had Um two fish bowls in my room And we can calculate you know we know The average lifespan we know our average Lifespan it's you know whatever the Number is 78 or whatever it is so you

Can actually easily calculate the number Of Months weeks or days that you Statistically have left on this planet Right Um and so I bought a bag of marbles and One marble represented each week that I Have left on the planet And I filled up the exact number based On the statistics in one fishbowl And at the end it's it's more it's more Inspiring than Doomsday Uh I mean it's just statistics yeah no No but at the end of every week I would Ask myself Um I actually got it down to the day but At the end of every week I'd say was This a week worth living did I do Something to inspire someone And it's my own standard and if the Answer is yes I move it to the other Fishbowl ifian says no I throw away the Marble because I wasted it Right Um and uh and that's why I love the word Inspire I believe it is a standard to Live by and inspiration is what how we Make other people feel You know it's not did you do something I Did something good today I gave money to Charity that's not what it is it's how Did I make someone feel and did they Feel That their their life is even better

Even for five minutes because of Something because of their interaction With me right Um and then genuine care I think is the Second part of it right yeah Inspire the world To lead with genuine heart right with Genuine heart and again I think that Sets you up for values like you know and It's proprietary I've never heard Anybody talk about genuine people talk About Innovation and you know Integrity Like those are generic words But genuine heart is something you can Own and so how do you amplify a genuine Heart Um what are the standards of of of Leading with genuine heart what does it Mean to lead with General heart what are The values that mean that are you giving Out a genuine heart award you know to The person in each property who Exemplifies and by the way the way to do That is to ask their teammates to vote For them not come from leadership Like who who inspires us to leave with Genuine heart to the degree that we want To be more like our own colleague Because a peer review is actually more Powerful than than a review from from uh From up on high because really we're Working for one person's approval where A peer review is my team loves me and We're not angry when somebody wins that

Award I deserve that because I voted for Him because I voted for him right Um Um and it sets a standard for the rest Of the team so so I think uh peer review Where we allow our own people to choose Who within our group who within our team Has inspired us to lead with genuine Heart and the irony is they may not be Your best individual performer But they're probably your best natural Leaders It doesn't necessarily always line up With with performance Very good Very nice Um The other thing Again I do like the fact that it's about Inspire the world not Four Seasons to Your point about the infinite game and Wanting to raise the bar for everybody Correct so I think it also calls out to You know to really Elevate the Conversation and encourage others yeah I Mean you play the infinite game for the Good of the game right right which is You're in the hospitality industry for The good of the hospitality industry and For the good of all business and the Best companies the ones we love and Admire right they share You know it's it's the ones who are Protective you know of what they've

Because they think it's a competitive Advantage and what they don't what they Fail to recognize is implementation is The competitive Advantage not the idea Itself Execution is the competitive Advantage But the ability to share the things you Believe in and the things you uh uh have Figured out yeah for the good of Business because we don't just believe Your employees should be treated well we Believe all employees should be treated Well you know and if we if you figured Things out so I'll tell you a story so Bob Chapman is the CEO of a company Called Barry waymiller it's a company I've written and spoken about quite a Lot especially in my book uh Leaders Eat Last okay Um and you had the opportunity to meet Bob Bob is one of those unique Remarkable leaders and the way I met Bob Is he'd read start with why and he sent Me a letter and saying I'm building the Kind of company that you've written About And I said I want to meet you and so we Had lunch in Los Angeles this Famous Lunch Um where we were scheduled for an hour And we both cleared our schedules and Spent the next three hours together Because we loved each other And I didn't believe him I said you know

I talk about an ideal it's not realistic It's a it's a striving He says no no I have it I said well I Want to see it to believe it so he Picked me up in his plane from New York And we flew we spent three days flying Around the country to all these Different factories and it's a Manufacturing company right this is blue Color some Union some non-union Manufacturing right And what I saw absolutely astonished me It blew me away I've never seen anything Like it Um and he didn't prepare anything he let Me roam the factory floor without any I Could talk to anybody I could ask Anybody any question I wanted There was no window dressing and I was Absolutely blown away and I'll just tell You one quick story that really Exemplifies uh and this one's I haven't Written or spoken about this one so this One was I haven't talked about this one So they have a machine that was getting Old you know this is a factory big Machine yeah Um that's getting old and need to be Replaced traditionally how large Machines are replaced is somebody in Procurement Fills out a list of requirements and Then goes in the market to find a Machine that fits a budget right that's

Usually how it's done that's not how They did it they went to the factory Floor to the two guys who work on that Machine one who's pretty young in his Early 20s one who's got more experience Uh neither of them have college Educations I think one had a GED Um and they said to them you need to Replace your machine you have a budget Of 750 000 go And these two guys travel around the Country looking at I never came back Exactly They now live in Tahiti uh they they uh Uh they gave him a budget not the money Uh that was smart uh they flew around The country they they looked at new and Used machines and the people selling Machines said they've never seen Anything like it they've never had Anybody show up in overalls climbing in The machine usually it's a guy in a suit Showing up with a clipboard right you Know they ended up spending 650 000 so They were really excited that they saved The company money and that's their Machine right that's that I can Guarantee that machine will never break Down right and the trust and it makes Perfect sense but this is what one of The things that Bob says you know Bob Says is We trust people who have college Educations who work in a back office and

We don't trust people who don't have College educations what about their Education makes them trust where they're Untrustworthy he says I know some pretty Dishonest mbas you know uh Um and that's one of the things that Bob Did but the point was is we I went on This wonderful tour with Bob and then we Finally went back to their corporate Headquarters in St Louis and the team That had sort of built this culture was Sitting around a table and they were all Looking at me like this going isn't this Amazing like we built what you what you Wrote about And I sat there and I said I think you're the most selfish Organization I've ever met in my entire Life and they always sort of stunned That I would say that I said look I Think it's amazing what you've built I Think it's absolutely incredible but how Selfish of you that you only offer this Thing this kind of thing that you've Built for 6 000 people what about the Millions of people who hate their jobs Who don't want to go to work every day What are you doing for them And it was on it was from that Conversation that Bob Open the doors they now offer training They now for tours like Bob now he wrote A book about it you know he's now in the Speaking circuit yeah he's out there

He's now a public figure And he's promoting this new way of Leading in this new way of thinking And that's what I think you have an Opportunity to do as well which is Amazing what you do for your people but Think about all the things that you have Innovated that would benefit other Companies and other people that you can Share again the competitive Advantage Comes in the execution and the fact that You're the leader the brand is the lead Right you know think about Apple had a Small had a four percent market share For computer operating systems Microsoft Had 96 and yet Microsoft followed Apple Right leader doesn't mean biggest Doesn't mean biggest market share Doesn't mean most profitable you know Although in this case it does Leaders results in it yeah but it's Definitely not market share revenues Right leader means other people follow What you do And if your brand stands for something That people want to copy And you're leading the way then clearly You are competing against yourself and Not them but let them compete against You Um and I think that the Four Seasons is One of those Brands and I can't think of Anyone in the hospitality who has ever Done that who's ever reached outside of

Their own Uh industry that others want to be more Like them Um can I ask myself a question please if Anybody thinks I'm in control here this Is just a joke right It's fake so so uh which leads the which Leads to a good follow-up question Please ask yourself Because I have no idea what you're Talking about which is which is if Indeed we are to lead others and step Outside our own industry how do we Innovate that how do we do that I'm glad you asked Great question Okay You absolutely have a challenge and it Is a difficult one right Um Which is you're not a new company In a world that is now digital and Uh And data driven So let's think about Innovation Innovation for two seconds For millennia Innovation predominantly meant Hardware Right I made a bit of printing press now the Printing press that we have today is Basically the same thing that Gutenberg Did it's a thing that goes like this it Goes fast or sure but it's basically the

Same thing right The airplane is basically the same Physics right it's 100 the same physics Um but for for for for for many many Many years Innovation meant hardware and Hardware is very expensive which is why The only uh organizations that could Innovate were governments and large Companies right because you could afford To The computer and the internet completely Changed that Um the the invention of the personal Computer and Steve Wozniak one of the Founders of Apple talked about this he Says I imagine a day in which an Individual could compete against a Corporation the computer allows that Where literally one person can compete Against a company that's incredible And the speed at which innovation can Happen because innovation in the Hardware model is slow and expensive in The software model it's fast and cheap Right so think of your iPhone The hardware is very expensive it's over A thousand dollars which is insane and When they release it it actually has Software on it that is imperfect and They know it's imperfect but they give It to you anyway and then very quickly They start fixing it and the patches Start coming out right and sometimes It's minor you don't even see the

Difference and sometimes it's major you Get a major overhaul and eventually the Software gets too big That the hardware can no longer contain It and then you have to buy a new piece Of expensive Hardware And this is the model that old companies Have to learn to embrace And if you look at the companies that Are dominating right now whether it's Netflix it's still big it's it's habits Issues but it's still big Netflix which Reinvented film and television Tesla Which is Reinventing cars Amazon which Is Reinventing uh uh retail They're all new companies they're all Facebook Google Tick Tock they're all Data companies the old style of big Innovation those companies aren't the Biggest companies anymore they used to Be but they're not the biggest companies Anymore it's data and it's because of Their speed at which they can make Change And so the companies that are struggling Are the companies that are trying to Simply add data to their Hardware model So if we add a flat screen TV to our car We're Innovative no no no Tesla built an IPhone Tesla built an iPhone on Wheels what Makes that car remarkable is not that It's an electric car it's that my 2002 Tesla and my friends 2019 Tesla do the

Exact same things because the car can Update itself We have all the same features it's not The old way where yeah I don't have Those features I have the the I have Last year's model Right that's gone And if you look at the companies that Are challenging and pushing Um uh uh you know take a look at um if I Did this just for comparison's sake I Went on Robinhood they apt to make Investments and I did fidelity right Fidelity looks like it's a bunch of old Finance people who said oh I guess we Have to make a website Try to make a trade on there and I kid You not first of all they locked me out For some reason I couldn't understand so I was on customer service for half an Hour finally when I got in it took me About 45 minutes to figure out how to Make a trade so over an hour for me to Make a trade Robin Hood downloaded the app in five Minutes I was done The user experience was astonishing and The reason is is because Fidelity is a Financial company that's attempting to Go online And Robinhood is a technical is a is a Tech company that happens to be In finance Your challenges you're a bricks and

Mortar company that's attempting to go Into Data What if you were to invent what if you Were to start Four Seasons from scratch Today what if you were a data company That happened to be In hospitality Right and when you start thinking that Way all of a sudden the ideas start Flowing right so I'll just give you a Few examples Um that again just off the top of my Head when you start thinking this way Which is Do you track Everything About your guests Right like everything they ordered in Every one of your hotels everything they Drank or ate out of the mini bar Not that you would use that data you Know a you never sell it because that's Your values you're using to improve the Experience legitimately you know it's Not what they tell you right Um Um and imagine that for your you you Wouldn't want to do this for one guest But you know imagine you start to see a Trend that this guest they have a long Trend they always have Coca-Cola and a Bag of nuts out of the mini bar every Time Right so you add more Coca-Cola more

Coca-Cola and more nuts in the mini bar And maybe even leave one out from when They arrive It's about listening and you use the Data you're really good at listening Right your your people are good at Listening but now you're using data to Listen or Um And you and I talked about you said this That your goal is to get to charging Zero for the minibar I think you just Charge reasonable prices you know I Don't think you need to charge nothing Non-alcoholic products non-alcoholic Products yeah yeah uh it's just like None of us likes to be gouged like 14 For a can of Coke and a bag of chips you Know just just make it reasonable yeah And then nobody actually cares Um but all these little things learning Who's the the intense intense kind of Listening and then you ask yourself if You have all of this data now what would You innovate now at bricks and mortar or Planes or boats or whatever you're doing Would you build around All of this information that you own Um and like I said what if you were to Start a hotel and hospitality company What if you were to start a tech company Because you you know this Equinox is now Building hotels virgin is now building Hotels you know you have other people

Outside you're coming in they're Leveraging their brand here so the Christian Brands fashion brands how do You leverage your brand to go there and I think I think think of yourself as a Tech company that happens to be in Hospitality not their way otherwise well The great news is we have a phenomenal New Chief commercial officer who's Sitting going in the room right here and He's oh he's right in front of me and He's his eyes must be going like because This is exactly what we've been talking About because the challenge you're going To have is the same challenge as movies As the same challenges television is the Same challenge as publishing which is They said to themselves We've been doing this business for 40 Years 50 years I think we know what We're doing yeah how do we add a flat Screen to to it how do we put data on it The problem is It's an entirely different animal it's An entirely you cannot rely on your 30 Years of experience which is very scary When you have 30 years of experience You literally have to throw it all out So beginner's mindset Natalie I think we're up right we're Done all right so sorry I know no Amazing are you kidding me that was Incredible so Simon Sonic Generations Okay

Okay so let's do it we were giving a Little more time because this is great Thank you Um so why don't we I'm sure there's a Few questions in the audience that People would like to ask Simon directly Yes Hans Hi Simon Yep A few tips or ideas from you on on Leadership in a virtual world so during Covet you know we all worked virtually And and now yeah what's happening now Yeah and the office is five days a week Nine to six will probably never happen Again yep but then if you build a team You you would like to have people around You you would like to see them you talk About inspiring inspiring via a zoom Call or a team skull not that easy so What are your views on that sure so There's there's there's multiple ways to Do it not all of them are healthy right Um uh remember the the the key word here Is flexibility I think flexibility is Here to stay Um I don't think we can predict exactly What the future will look like but Flexibility for example it used to be You asked permission that next week can I work from home because my kids home From school or something now you can Email in the morning saying hey I'm

Going to work from home today and Everybody's fine with it that that's Here to stay so the key word is Flexibility how do you build flexibility Into the system Um companies that are dictating it I Think are struggling Um you must be at work These days Um versus we would like you to come to Work two days a week To maintain team culture and team you Know so you have to come to work two Days a week you can pick those days and Some days when we have Team meetings Then then everybody will come those days But also easing into it I think one of The things that a lot of companies that Have made mistakes is they went from Covid you know times to this is what It's going to be on this date and I Think doing very very little bits over Time the only the companies that I've Seen make dictations they only did it For senior leadership which I think was Actually very healthy which is for Senior leaders you must be at work Monday Wednesday Friday or whatever days You want right where Rank and file they They made no dictates at all zero Because to a senior leader you can say Look you're a senior leader of this Company there are there are different And higher expectations of you and we do

Expect you to be at work on these days But to but instead of making these Company-wide dictates to to start with Senior leadership let that let that get A momentum for a few months and then if You need to bring in other people you Can but I think the key is how do you Maintain flexibility while that uh while You ask people to come back to work Great question tones Charlie Thank you Um Simon it was great to hear Um about the um the insights about Loyalty of employees to to the employer And how challenging that has become I Think we can all relate to that so maybe Um Some other thoughts on who's doing that Well to inspire or re-inspire the Loyalty of employees to employers yeah Um it's a very good question and there's Unfortunately very few good answers Um uh we have to take a step back for a Minute right remember how young people Came up through work right which is Um The damage that Jack Welch and that Model Did you know excessive uh uh Um weight on shareholder Supremacy Um you know judging people only by their Performance Um the idea of using mass layoffs on an

Annualized basis to balance the books in Other words we're profitable just not as Profitable as we promise so you lose Your job right which is insane a Profitable company laying people off Right but this has become so normalized That this young population has been Raised watching their parents and their Friends parents lose their job through No fault of their own it's not a Meritocracy And so why should they have loyalty to The company they literally came up in an Age where they watched the company have No loyalty to them And so where people blame this young Generation for being disloyal or unloyal I think I think they're responding to The to the to the game that's been That's been laid and so the question is How do we demonstrate loyalty the Companies that I think do it well are The ones that are excessive in their uh Um in their in their values and their And their purpose but they're also Extremely honest that they're on a Journey one of the best examples and if You saw the newspaper today about Patagonia Um you know they are one of the Quintessential examples of people who Are there for the purpose and each and All definitely lives it and the Decisions you can see that he makes

Embody it but the company is also wholly Imperfect And they talk about their imperfections And they talk about the striving and I Don't think people I think the mistake That a lot of companies make is Pretending that they've got everything Figured out when clearly we don't but if They say that we don't understand this Or we got this wrong and here are the Lessons we learned and we know what to Do next time that level of honesty just Compare it to a personal relationship You know you're not going to do well in Your marriage if you keep telling your Spouse I got everything right and I know What I did wrong and don't worry like You have to say I screwed up and here's What I screwed up and here's what I've Learned and I think people are just Looking to feel that you're honest with Them one of the biggest things is is Quite weirdly is how we feel about our Own selves as well you know as Leaders Sometimes we think that we have to be Positive all the time so that our people Will be positive the problem is it Almost always backfires I I was um young in my career and I had One direct report her name was Cynthia Something made me look good every single Day I worked at a big Ad Agency and my Habit was to let Cynthia sit in on all Of my meetings if she was allowed to if

I could get her in just to learn even if She had no responsibility and uh in the Meeting and we had a very we had a a Conference call with a senior client so All the senior creatives all the senior Folks and and and I was a young Executive there and Cynthia sat on the Side just to listen and I invited her to Listen to him and the call went very Badly And when we hung up the phone I vented And I vented to my peers or my bosses Which I could do and I vented all this Anger at this client and then I look Over at Cynthia I went oh my God she Just heard me do that and as we walked Out of the office out of the conference Room I said to her I'm really sorry you Shouldn't have seen me vent like that I Apologize and she said no no no I'm so Glad she said you're always so positive And yet I'm struggling on this client I Thought it was me But the fact that you're you're Struggling as well makes me feel that It's not me and it and it really Solidified our relationship and so for I Think for us as Leaders especially Coming off of covid for us to say I'm having a hard week guys so I'm I may Not be as reliable this week I'm just Under a lot of stress a little bit from Home and a little bit from work so Please just be patient with me give

People permission to say to us I'm Having a bad week I'm struggling and we Get to say how can I help But when we pretend that we've got Everything under control at all times Then we're forcing them to pretend that They have they that they're under Control then we can't help them then we Can't lead with genuine heart Because we don't know Um I have a friend who's a general in The Air Force the real Air Force and Uh and uh And he he talks about mental health he Says if you break your leg you go see The leg doctor if your head is broken You see the head doctor he normalizes it And he he leads by example he doesn't Just say hey if you're struggling go see The go see the the shrink he'll say hey Guys it's been a rough week for me Um this between three and four I'm gonna Go see the counselor I'll see you later He's and he's not doing it for show he's Doing it because he's he genuinely wants To see the counselor but the point is He's being very open about it and I Think for young people who want to see Us as human I think for us to reveal Those things I think is is a huge part Of it It's great [Applause] Yes

Of course Sure In a property sure how do we how do we Give some of that flexibility to those Folks that you know have to be on the Floor have to be at the property so ask Them Right take some of take some of your you Know who your best and brightest are you Know who the ones who who who who bleed Four Seasons who love it here who care You know who they are that you know it's A bell curve you know everybody likes it Here but some people love it here take The ones who love it here from the front Line you know you some of your your Servers or and say to them we want to Build more flexibility in the system We know what we know from our 30 years Of experience but we want to know what You would do so include them in the Conversation Um the and get and say give us options Of what a more flexible Workforce would Be like You know don't let don't say you're Designing it because the problem is if You don't implement it exactly as it was Asked for you know say give us input That will help us make a decision ask Them Um let them help design it Um and then give constant uh status one Of the things that we're learning is

Young people when when we ask them for Their opinions if we don't go back and Say we did this we did this they think That we we feel unheard right so that Line of communication giving you an Update based on this thing that we said We're doing here's where we stand Um and things that we're going to Implement that they suggest and not Going to implement to be very crystal Clear and give them feedback as to the Reasons why as a learning so it's not Arbitrary like yes no Um but I would I would go ask your Frontline people if you would design the Perfect job in a flexible Workforce what Give us some feedback is what it could Look like Yeah I think we have time for one more Right side of the room sorry left side Somebody's raising their head back there But I can't see oh there it is I'm here Yes hi hi Um I wanted to see your opinion on on Where people went I think when we came Out of covet we were Um we were thinking that people didn't Want to come back to hospitality but Then as you know we looked at other Companies you know there's a lack of Lawyers there is a lack of ambulance Drivers there's a lack of everything so Where do you think people went And unemployment is a little all-time

Low like everybody's quitting their jobs And there's no jobs And yet everybody's looking to hire Um I think a lot of people are There's a few ways to answer it first of All A lot of the jobs that people took During covid we make the assumption that They wanted to work for us when they Took the job during covid In the reality is some people took the Job because it was a job during covid And in their own minds it was never Supposed to be permanent you know maybe Some of them fell in love but they're as Soon as the market opened up their Intention was always to leave so we Can't completely beat ourselves up Um if if we do lose some people Um but I think a lot of people are Um they're bouncing they're they're Trying things Um I mean let's be realistic a lot of Young people move back home so their Bills are lower so they can afford to Wait and hang out Um I think the gig economy is a real Thing and what Uber and those companies They built into the vernaculars idea of A gig economy and I think people really Fancy being Freelancers Um maybe even freelance servers that I Work for three hotels because I want to

Pick up shifts here that suit me beehive And and and what does the gig economy Mean in traditional in traditional Employment I think that's a big part of It to be honest Um but I think a lot of people are are Also recognizing that money is less Important to them than than the Relationships and their experiences and I think people are okay making less Um so they may have cut or stabilized Their incomes and they they maybe don't Have that that crazy ambition the the Thing that I fear And we touched upon this before which is People are less afraid of quitting now Young people are less afraid of quitting And they're building the gig economy Lives for themselves my fear is that They're going to go from job to job to Job when we were younger you couldn't Quit a job in less than one year because It would look bad on your resume right Now three months whatever goodbye You know and my fear is Flash Forward Five years One of two things will definitely happen An employer will look at you that in Five years you've had nine jobs I'm not Going to hire you because I just can't Trust that you're going to stick around Or and you've had nine jobs in five Years you haven't been around anywhere Long enough to go through a cycle of

Good times and bad times and so you have No discernible skill set And my fear is that what feels great now It's it's it's going to have Consequences in a few years Um and um I'm worried about that and I Don't know how to communicate that in a Way that that is sticky Um you know I'm talking about eating Healthy now so you don't get diabetes in 20 years I mean you know it's it's hard That's a hard message for people to To statistic but I'm worried about that That's great That was amazing thank you so much Thank you Um Okay okay so we had said that you can't Take pictures with Simon or post the Pictures actually Simon is more than Happy to take a few pictures and you can Post them do whatever you want search For me do you can't post whether you Film today but um but you can post Whatever you want so I don't know what's Coming up next Natalie I'm sorry I I was So okay our hosts are here and um thank You again yeah thanks for having me I Really appreciate it thank you thanks

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