Podcasts from Bill Marriott, Chairman and CEO of Marriott International.
Building Bridges to Opportunity12/03/2012
One of my core business beliefs is that great companies exist for more fundamental purposes than just to make money. At Marriott, we “open doors to a world of opportunity.” That phrase connotes how much we want our associates to grow during their careers. But “opening doors to a world of opportunity” also applies to the non-profit Bridges from School to Work program. My brother Richard runs this program and he’s developed a model that other companies should emulate. Simply put, it takes kids with disabilities and helps them find a job. It’s not so simple to execute. Bridges employer...
Living the American Dream05/03/2012
My family has lived the American Dream. My father started out herding sheep and saw an opportunity and drove cross-country from Utah to Washington, D.C. to open up an A&W Root Beer stand. That was way back in 1927. Many of us forget where we came from, but not me. I was reminded of all this when I recently received the “Keepers of the American Dream Award” from the National Immigration Forum. The honor is what Marriott is all about: opportunity, no matter where someone is born. At the awards ceremony, I talked about the fact that 50% of our...
World of Opportunity: Chance Encounters27/02/2012
Listen to Blog After 33 years with Marriott International, Nusrat Mirza learned first-hand how our company can open doors to a world of opportunity. Nusrat’s story goes back to 1978, when he became a restaurant supervisor in one of our properties. Today, he’s the General Manager of our beautiful Renaissance Long Beach Hotel in California. One day, after inviting his housekeeping staff to bring their children to work, Nusrat had a “chance encounter” with a young teenager named Mario. When asked what he wanted to do in life, the young boy confidently replied, “I want your job.” Nusrat encouraged him...
More Lessons From A Car Guy20/02/2012
After nearly 40 years as a CEO at Marriott, I love to read about how others lead. Recently, I blogged about Bob Lutz's new book "Car Guys vs. Bean Counters," which has many lessons from his tenure with General Motors. My 13-year service on the GM Board ended about a year after Bob came aboard. But I've watched and admired him from afar. General Motors has weathered some tough times lately and I found Bob's commentary about the problems that they have faced as powerful. So I shared copies of his book with my senior leadership team. The great concern...
Remembering Dr. Burke, My Life-Saver13/02/2012
In August of 1985, I was putting gasoline into my boat at our summer place on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. I turned on the ignition switch to check the gas level, when I heard an explosion. The gas fumes had gathered around me as I stood on the deck and exploded with a spark from the switch. I was engulfed with flames. I went to the local hospital and was soon taken by helicopter to the Burn Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. I was met by Dr. Jack Burke who was chief of trauma and head...
Steve Jobs: Relentless Pursuit of Excellence30/01/2012
Recently, I had an opportunity to read the story of Apple’s Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. I found it fascinating and well done. We all know that Jobs changed the world with his many creations at Apple and Pixar Films. Isaacson wrote, “Steve Jobs became the greatest business executive of our era. The one most certain to be remembered a century from now. History will place him in the pantheon right next to Edison and Ford. Was he smart, no, not exceptionally; instead, he was a genius. His imaginative leaps were instinctive, unexpected, and at times, magical.” I‘ve always been...
The Year of the Dragon23/01/2012
HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR! 2012 is the year of the Dragon. Let the week-long celebrations begin. That’s right, an entire week of brilliant fireworks and colorful parades. It’s truly an amazing spectacle. Think Times Square – but a whole lot bigger! Our Marriott hotels in Shanghai, Beijing and Sanya, will have ceremonies featuring Chinese drummers and Kung Fu artists. Food is also very important to New Year's celebrations. The Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel created a unique dim sum dumpling menu in honor of the Dragon. Each dish is a work of art. Chinese New Year Coconut Pudding and Taro...
A Big Day for U.S. Tourism20/01/2012
"The more folks who visit America, the more Americans we get back to work.” -- President Obama, January 19, 2012 Listen to Blog This year 1 billion people are expected to travel outside their own countries to see and experience the world. And for every 35 of those international visitors, one job is created. That's why President Obama went to Disneyworld this week to talk about the importance of travel and tourism in creating American jobs. He also knows that when someone from another country visits the United States, they generally go home a fan, and that's good for our...
Lessons of a Soda Jerk17/01/2012
My very first job was a soda jerk and that taught me a lot about customer service. It was very busy, especially on the weekends. Filling orders in a timely way was a challenge and great fun. I was thrown into the front lines and was stuck many times. When I got behind, it took a long time for me to build a banana split. This was back in 1952 at our Hot Shoppes Restaurant in Silver City, Utah. I worked as a soda jerk while I was a student at the University of Utah. My dad would often come...