Approaching Success Can Come from more than One Direction

My background is what academia refers to as “clinical” in nature and several years ago, I addressed several classes at the Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality & Resort Management at the University of Memphis in Tennessee. Having taught as an adjunct professor for 20 years at three different colleges, I have always been comfortable as both an academic and corporate educator. I estimate that I have taught an estimated 3,400 classes and programs to date and always enjoy interacting with people from around the world in those venues.

The classes were interesting and as I was leaving, I spent a few minutes in the small museum type setting that includes some of Wilson’s memorabilia. I was never employed at Holiday Inns, but living in Tennessee (then global headquarters for the brand) for more than 15 years certainly brought me into substantial contact with many people who had been. While Wilson was not a traditional hotelier by schooling or experience, he definitely influenced many business practices in franchising, brand support, standards and values.

Displayed in the lobby of the Wilson School of Hospitality & Resort Management at the University of Memphis are what he called his Steps for Success.

The first ten are below and the rest will follow later in the week:

Kemmons Wilson (founder of Holiday Inns)
20 Steps for Success
1. Work only a half a day; it makes no difference which half – it can either be the first 12 hours or the last 12 hours.

2. Work is the master key that opens the door to all opportunities.

3. Mental attitude plays a far more important role in a person’s success or failure than mental capacity.

4. Remember that we all climb the ladder of success one-step at a time.

5. There are two ways to get to the top of an oak tree. One way is to sit on an acorn and wait; the other way is to climb it.

6. Do not be afraid of taking a chance. Remember that a broken watch is right at least twice a day.

7. The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.

8. Eliminate from your vocabulary the words, “I don’t think I can” and substitute, “I know I can.”

9. In evaluating a career, put opportunity ahead of security.

10. Remember that success requires half luck and half brains.

#11-20 to follow …

Keys to Success Hospitality Tip of the Week:
Hotel Common Sense Philosophy #7
“The only thing constant in our business today is change. If you do not improve on today’s service delivery, someone else will”
Dr. John Hogan CHE CHA CMHS

Part of the Fifteen Timeless Philosophies in Hospitality
A 2011 Keynote Address and Workshop

KEYS TO SUCCESS is the umbrella title for my 2010-2011 programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a wide variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my “HOW TO” articles and HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS. My segments Lessons from the Field, Hotel Common Sense and Principles for Success will be featured at appropriate times in the year as well.

Feel free to share an idea for a column at anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.

John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is Co-Founder of a consortium ( of successful corporate and academic professionals delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today. is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas that are designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.

Consulting Expertise and Research Interest
1. Sales Management and training
2. Turn-around and revenue management
3. Professional Development for the Organization and the Individual
4. Customer Service
5. Making Cultural Diversity Real
6. Developing Academic Hospitality programs
7. Medical Lodging Consultants

If you need assistance in any of these areas or simply an independent review or opinion on a hospitality challenge, contact me directly for a prompt response and very personalized attention.
Your Hospitality Resource for Hotel Owners, Innkeepers, Managers and Associations

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