I’ll never forget my introduction to Horst Schulze. It was August of 2015 and he was one of the presenters at the Global Leadership Summit, a two-day conference with world class faculty providing fresh, actionable and inspiring leadership content to more than 250,000 attendees. No, I wasn’t technically at the conference and no, I didn’t technically meet Horst, but my exposure to his content created an appetite for more.
It was apparent, from the moment he began his presentation about customer service, he delivered with genuine care. He expressed the importance of his role within the organization (President and COO typically carries some weight) while reiterating the importance, and significance, of every person in the organization. In the end, we are all people simply serving each other in some capacity. We can choose to serve with an attitude to create trust and loyalty or choose to serve with indifference.
I recently had a chance to catch up with my good friend, Mr. Shulze, as he released a new book, Excellence Wins. By spending time, I mean I listened to the book on Audible while recovering from a spine fusion (another story for another day). We revisited some of the similar concepts from his presentation a few years ago, but it was refreshing to see the significance of caring again in a fresh way.
The most significant takeaway for me was not in the details of creating an award-winning organization, but the hope Horst expressed in the midst of a struggle during the peak of his career. I won’t spoil it for you, but you can turn to Chapter 20 to hear the rest of the story. Mr. Shulze reflects on his battle and how his faith was strengthened during that difficult season.
He persevered in the face of adversity and continued his inspiring pursuit. If you haven’t paused to Google Horst Schulze yet, he is famous for revolutionizing the hotel industry, creating one of the most recognizable brands in the world in the process, The Ritz-Carlton, and elevating the culture of customer service by introducing “ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.”
I can’t think of a better time to reflect on excellence winning with Easter this Sunday. We celebrate The One who demonstrated the greatest love through his servant leadership and a willingness to be mocked, exposed, beaten beyond recognition, and crucified on a cross - for us. In three days, Jesus rose from the grave, and his excellence continues to provide hope 2,000+ years later.
At it’s core, customer service is delivered when we genuinely care about people. Between Horst and JC, I realize it’s time for me to step up my caring game and I hope you do too.
Horst Schulze is a charismatic leader and entrepreneur with an intimate understanding of market demands, he created a legion of loyal customers by raising the bar for customer service expectations to previously unimagined levels. Schulze provides audiences with successful service-oriented strategies to build and maintain lasting customer relationships that keep them coming back for more. A man of rare ability and prophetic vision, Schulze himself was named “Corporate Hotelier of the World” by HOTELS magazine and was awarded the Ishikawa Medal for his contributions to the quality movement. Currently chairman and CEO of Capella Hotel Group, Schulze is launching the newest standard in luxury hotels creating an unmatched tier of customer service.