Monday, October 06, 2008

The New Gold Standard by Joseph A. Micelli

Joseph Michelli's note on my blog reminded me that I have yet to fulfill my promise to do a full length review of The New Gold Standard : 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. The book was published by McGraw-Hill in 2008, ISBN : 9780071548335.

Throughout my career, I've been through various rethinks & reorganizations as part of the different places & management cultures I've worked. So I was interested in this book, to see whether it had anything new, something that could be used in my current workplace, or even to refresh my thinking & management skills. I was delighted by this book. It is refreshing, honest, well-written, and has a nice blend of both theory & story to illustrate the theory. I finished the book wanting to go work for Ritz-Carlton.

I think many of us have had the experience of being told that we needed to fully invest in the company culture, or learn the company culture. But in this case, Ritz-Carlton has shown both how they want people to invest in their company and how they invest in the people who work for them.

Loved the five leadership principles, which are positively stated. It is not that the negative aspects or mistakes aren't mentioned in this book, because they are. But the positives are what are most focused on & the fact that the Ritz-Carlton is willing to make mistakes & let their people make mistakes, without undue punishment. I do think that in many businesses making a mistake is so horrible that it becomes hard to have new ideas because the fear of failure is too great. We hobble ourselves by this sort of thinking. I found the mention of empowering through trust helpful and have been able to do that at work already. It may not be the way I would do it, but it is quite possibly just as legitimate and possibly just as efficient a way to do it. Since I don't want to be a micromanager (but am in a job which lends itself to micromanagement) this was a very useful reminder.

I really do recommend this book highly, not just for business people but for others who may be starting a new business, may be starting a new career, or possibly even a new relationship. I think it works on all sorts of levels. I plan to give the book to the local library, in hopes that it will reach more people. Well worth reading.

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