Recommended Reading : Hotel Mavens – A solid rating on the founders and history of one of old New York’s great hotels, and more…

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With the change in ownership and the re-purposing of one of America’s best known hotels, I am re-posting a review of a very different book than the others I have read by Stanley Turkel.   While it follows much of his same incredible attention to detail on the history of hotels (including a continuing commitment to accuracy) , this book focuses almost entirely on a very focused period of time, on a few people who made a difference in American hotel keeping and on one very famous hotel in the largest city in America.

1st of all, Turkel defines what a “maven” is, which is an expert who passes on knowledge to others. Turkel identifies three people he describes as mavens. While these are not household names to most people (even in the hospitality business), they played an important role in certain development of styles and protocols in American hotels
  1.  Lucius Boomer was chairman of the Waldorf-Astoria Corporation. Turkel explains in great detail about his noted career of managing or overseeing a number of major hotels in the northeast part of the USA from the early part of the 20th century through the 1940s.
  2. George Boldt is a lesser known, but important player in American hospitality and Turkel highlights the emphasis on service, grooming, standards and systems that Boldt introduced and maintained in his time (through 1916).
  3. Oscar Tschirky, or Oscar of the Waldorf as he was mainly known, is perhaps the best known of the three to the consumer or non-hotelier, as his tenure and flair at the famous hotel for a half century was well chronicled at the time and later via several food dishes named in his honor.

Turkel is an acknowledged authority on the history of New York City hotels, including both those that remain in existence today and those that have been converted or demolished. I considered it a sincere privilege to read and review Turkel’s earlier book Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York , which was a fascinating read for anyone interested in history, building design and hospitality. The collection of historic properties that Turkel chose for that book featured 32 distinctively different properties. Some of them are well known such as the Plaza and the St Regis hotels, but most of them are less well known but just as interesting as they evolved from their original design and market positioning.Author Turkel was designated as the 2014 Historian of the Year National Trust for Historic Preservation and Historic Hotels of America in October, 2014 at their Awards Conference at the Hotel Hershey, Hershey, Pa. , for his zealous devotion to communicating the role of hotels in American business and life.

Hotel Mavens continues Turkel’s thorough sharing of this information through documented details about many well known American hotels – the Lenox in Boston, the Bellevue Stratford in Philadelphia, the Willard in Washington DC and many in New York City including the Claridge, the Sherry Netherland, the Plaza (briefly) and more. He explains how the Intercontinental Hotel Corporation came to be and how so many famous people and hotels came and went over a 50 year period.

In some places, this book is not always easy to read, and that is due to the evolution of language used 100 years ago that is included in this book.

There are diagrams and communications from the early Waldorf-Astoria days and a good number of black and white photos that bring the stories to life. He shares anecdotes and real-life stories that became standards in the industry, while others became dated and did not have staying power.

The section on “Staff News” about the original Waldorf-Astoria in February 1928 was written by hotel employees. Facts about the construction of the current Waldorf-Astoria were written by Lucius Boomer’s office in 1935 (three years after opening)

The Epilogue section of the book comes directly from the Waldorf-Astoria archives. As far as author Turkel knows, it has never been publicly reported before. Historically, it reveals unique material about the operation of the original and current Waldorf-Astoria hotels. For anyone interested in hotel operations from 85 years ago, it is chock full of revealing and fascinating material.

Hotel Mavens includes a good amount of material that is presented as and when it was written, which was sometimes a century ago. It refers to the attention given to foreign royalty and celebrities of the day at the Waldorf-Astoria and other hotels to the point of almost “drooling” over their importance. The condensed chronology from 1890-1929 includes information regarding the guests, famous and infamous who attended various functions at the hotel. One might think this dated, yet the social media and paparazzi of today do the same things with the names and faces in the news today.

The stories of how hotels were built, leased, sold, changed in function and more show how many of today’s business practices evolved.

I should also add an observation that in some places, the time line sequences do not flow easily to even a reader such as myself who is aware of at least some of the hotels’ histories or people. To someone who does not have a background in the industry, it might appear unintentionally vague or a bit confusing in places. Story lines and communication taken from the early days of the Waldorf-Astoria sometimes do not translate clearly in meaning as the language used today, which may cause a reader to be a bit puzzled at times.

Hotel Mavens is definitely worth reading and I recommend it to anyone who has an interest in the history of old New York, of how the hotel industry in America was influenced by big city hoteliers and investors and to anyone just interested in how life in New York City might have been before air travel, interstate highways, conventions, casinos and during Prohibition.

Good reading!

John J. Hogan CHA CHMS CHE CHO
Hospitality Educators
Hogan Hospitality

A solid rating on the founders & history of one of old New York’s great hotels, and how the hotel industry in America was influenced by big city hoteliers and investors
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About John J. Hogan

John J. Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO[1] is a career hotelier, author and educator who has held senior leadership with responsibility in several organizations involving operational, academic and entrepreneurial enterprise. He has been affiliated in management roles with Sheraton, Hilton, Dunfey (now Omni), Park Suite (now Embassy Suites), Med Center Inns of America, Best Western world headquarters and independent properties. He taught as an adjunct professor for more than 20 years at 3 different colleges and conducted more than 5,000 classes and workshops in his career as of 2016.

He is Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer of HospitalityEducators.com, which was founded in 2010 as a solutions center for hotel owners and managers.  HospitalityEducators.com   completely updated and has been facilitating the Certified Hotel Owners program for AAHOA since 2012, with a participant approval rating of over 97% and more than 1400 certifications to date.

As the principal of Hogan Hospitality, he has provided litigation support, hotel expert witness services and hotel owner support services. He holds a number of industry certifications and is a past recipient of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Pearson Award for Excellence in Lodging Journalism, as well as operational and marketing awards from international brands. He has served as President of both city and state hotel associations and as an elected Chair of a major brand Hotel Owners Council.

Specific new services, workshops and keynote topics can be found at johnjhogan.com, including

  • WHAT THEY DON’T TEACH YOU AT HOTEL SCHOOL
  • IT’S THE SIZE OF YOUR IDEA, NOT THE SIZE OF YOUR BUDGET
  • 2017 HOT TOPICS ON SAFETY, SECURITY AND LEGAL ISSUES FACING HOTEL OWNERS AND MANAGERS THIS YEAR
  • 15 TIMELESS STRATEGIES FOR TODAY’S LEADERS

 

He is currently working with his partner Kathleen Hogan and others on several new projects including the HOTELIERMASTERMIND series, an eBook series with Howard Feiertag on hotel sales, two new web sites and a fresh set of Keynote and Workshop programs, hospitality services and columns.

He writes regular columns for a number of global online services, has published 500 columns and 225 blogs for industry publications. He co-authored (with Howard Feiertag, CHA CMP) LESSONS FROM THE FIELD – a COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES as well co-authoring the Supervisory Skill Builders from the Educational Institute. Hogan’s professional experience includes over 43 years in operations, service, sales & marketing, training, management development and asset management on both a single and multi-property basis.

He has supported numerous industry boards that deal with education and/or cultural diversity for more than 15 years. He served on the AH&LA Certification Commission of the Educational Institute and as brand liaison to the NAACP and AAHOA with his long term involvement in the Certified Hotel Owner program.

Contact: John Hogan John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com                 602-799-5375

https://www.linkedin.com/in/drjohnhoganchache/

[1] Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), Certified Master Hotel Supplier (CMHS), Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE), Certified Hotel Owner (CHO)

 

RECOMMENDED READING {HINT} -The Answer to “How do we become successful” is in this book…..

,41XqOVMxPRL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_     Jason Jennings is one of those people who communicates well both in a speech and on paper. This book, published in the now seemingly distant past (2002), shares “people in successful companies” stories and how they do it.

The examples he quoted remain solid performers more than a decade later and the reason remains the same: the leadership of certain companies are continuously committed to serving their customers profitably, but not at the expense of their staff.

The message is clear, simply stated and yet, unfortunately overlooked by so many organizations. I read this book about 10 years ago and it is as fresh today – so fresh, that I intend to make it’s message into a future workshop.

Contrast the leadership, the teams and success of Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, Disney, the New England Patriots and Apple with that of Chipolte, United Airlines, the Cleveland Browns, Sears and many others who have left the marketplace. There are great people at each of the companies/teams in the 2nd listing, but their leadership has not yet learned the lessons of how to make their teams excel!

The answers are in this book and in our minds.

Your comments and feedback are always welcome.

About John J. Hogan

John J. Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO[1] is a career hotelier, author and educator who has held senior leadership with responsibility in several organizations involving operational, academic and entrepreneurial enterprise. He has been affiliated in management roles with Sheraton, Hilton, Dunfey (now Omni), Park Suite (now Embassy Suites), Med Center Inns of America, Best Western world headquarters and independent properties. He taught as an adjunct professor for more than 20 years at 3 different colleges and conducted more than 5,000 classes and workshops in his career as of 2016.

He is Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer of HospitalityEducators.com, which was founded in 2010 as a solutions center for hotel owners and managers.  HospitalityEducators.com   completely updated and has been facilitating the Certified Hotel Owners program for AAHOA since 2012, with a participant approval rating of over 97% and more than 1400 certifications to date.

As the principal of Hogan Hospitality, he has provided litigation support, hotel expert witness services and hotel owner support services. He holds a number of industry certifications and is a past recipient of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Pearson Award for Excellence in Lodging Journalism, as well as operational and marketing awards from international brands. He has served as President of both city and state hotel associations and as an elected Chair of a major brand Hotel Owners Council.

Specific new services, workshops and keynote topics can be found at johnjhogan.com, including

  • WHAT THEY DON’T TEACH YOU AT HOTEL SCHOOL
  • IT’S THE SIZE OF YOUR IDEA, NOT THE SIZE OF YOUR BUDGET
  • 2017 HOT TOPICS ON SAFETY, SECURITY AND LEGAL ISSUES FACING HOTEL OWNERS AND MANAGERS THIS YEAR
  • 15 TIMELESS STRATEGIES FOR TODAY’S LEADERS

 

He is currently working with his partner Kathleen Hogan and others on several new projects including the HOTELIERMASTERMIND series, an eBook series with Howard Feiertag on hotel sales, two new web sites and a fresh set of Keynote and Workshop programs, hospitality services and columns.

He writes regular columns for a number of global online services, has published 500 columns and 225 blogs for industry publications. He co-authored (with Howard Feiertag, CHA CMP) LESSONS FROM THE FIELD – a COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES as well co-authoring the Supervisory Skill Builders from the Educational Institute. Hogan’s professional experience includes over 43 years in operations, service, sales & marketing, training, management development and asset management on both a single and multi-property basis.

He has supported numerous industry boards that deal with education and/or cultural diversity for more than 15 years. He served on the AH&LA Certification Commission of the Educational Institute and as brand liaison to the NAACP and AAHOA with his long term involvement in the Certified Hotel Owner program.

Contact: John Hogan John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com                 602-799-5375

https://www.linkedin.com/in/drjohnhoganchache/

[1] Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), Certified Master Hotel Supplier (CMHS), Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE), Certified Hotel Owner (CHO)

 

One of the best books on thinking I have read in quite a while. Read why!

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Why is this is such a   “best book” on thinking ?  The answer is because  it tackles issues or flaws that we all deal with whether we think about it or not AND it provides logical ways to address them through exercises and examples.

Matthew May has authored a crisp book to assist us in dealing with our thinking. May, an experienced instructor and facilitator, understands how to recognize common traps that affect all of us and limit effective thinking in tackling problems.

First the flaws:

1. Leaping – We all have a tendency to look for solutions or jump to a conclusion BEFORE we really examine or think about an issue or problem

2. Fixation – Each of us has some built in preferences or bias that we tend to use without stopping to think

3. Overthinking – Doesn’t every one of us make our own life more complex when we over analyze and sometimes create problems that really may not exist

4. Satisficing – An imaginary word that describes how we too often seize ways to deal with issues or problems that are really very average or ho-hum. We know we can do better!

5. Downgrading – Dummy-ing our understanding of a problem or situation so we can find fast and easy “solutions”

6. Not Invented Here – This may be one of the most understated flaws in global business – if we didn’t think of it, it cannot be very good. Why do we invent problems for ourselves?

7. Self-Censoring – We all have a bit of fear of an idea being rejected, so we don’t offer it

May addresses each of these and suggests alternative approaches to tackle each of these every day issues and problems.

What I enjoyed the most about the book are the case studies with real world people conducted by the author. He also sets 15 different puzzles for readers, and we recognize that we may not know all the answers because we have some of the 7 flaws in our mind set. These are amusing scenarios

A quote by Albert Einstein starts off each chapter that summarize that flaw to be discussed, and this introduces the notion of how we all want to be correct and avoid failure. Yet, we have also learned from Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, George Washington Carver and others that we need to make mistakes so that we can improve ourselves and our environment.

Highly recommended!

   About John J. Hogan

John J. Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO 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 and Chief Learning Officer of HospitalityEducators.com, which was founded in 2010 as a solutions center for hotel owners and managers. He is also the Principal of HoganHospitality.com, which offers hotel expert witness services and hospitality consulting.

Specific new services, workshops and keynote topics can be found at  johnjhogan.com , including

WHAT THEY DON’T TEACH YOU AT HOTEL SCHOOL

 IT’S THE SIZE OF YOUR IDEA, NOT THE SIZE OF YOUR BUDGET

He is currently working with his partner Kathleen Hogan and others on several new projects including the HOTELIERMASTERMIND series, an eBook series with Howard Feiertag on hotel sales, two new web sites and a fresh set of Keynote and Workshop programs, hospitality services and columns.

Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), Certified Master Hotel Supplier (CMHS), Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE), Certified Hotel Owner (CHO)

Contact: John Hogan John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com /              602-799-5375

Recommended Reading – Business History of a Technology Innovator

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 I was surprised to see so many IBM retired and former employees reviewing and quoted in this book, but on reflection that makes sense. IBM for the past 100 years now has played a major role in the evolution of both US and global business history.

The book at times is a bit too anecdotal for the person who may not be a techie or who may not care about the details of some of the IBM story but overall it hits the mark.

In the three major sections, they cover:

1.   The science – this is the pioneering segment of how to move from the incredible basics to the foundations of meaningful technology for the every day person.

2.   Thomas Watson Sr had adopted the slogan “THINK” in 1911 and section 2 addresses the evolution of creating economic value from knowledge. IBM did not do everything “right” but they did help to create the concept of the modern corporation.

3.   Making the World Better completes the circle and shares global stories of balancing business, values, ethics and profitability while dealing with governments and greed.

Regardless of how one feels about certain kinds of computers or high tech, this is worth the read.

About John J. Hogan  

John J. Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO 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 and Chief Learning Officer of HospitalityEducators.com, which was founded in 2010 as a solutions center for hotel owners and managers. He is also the Principal of HoganHospitality.com, which offers hotel expert witness services and hospitality consulting.  Specific new services, workshops and keynote topics can be found at  johnjhogan.com 

He is currently working with his partner Kathleen Hogan and others on several new projects including the HOTELIERMASTERMIND series, an eBook series with Howard Feiertag on hotel sales, two new web sites and a fresh set of Keynote and Workshop programs, hospitality services and columns.

Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), Certified Master Hotel Supplier (CMHS), Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE), Certified Hotel Owner (CHO)

Contact: John Hogan John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com /              602-799-5375


RECOMMENDED READING: POSITIVE INTELLIGENCE Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential AND HOW YOU CAN ACHIEVE YOURS

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Stanford University Faculty member Shirzad Chamine lectures at on Positive Intelligence (PQ), where IQ and EQ are all part of the every day world of communication and interaction.    Chamine uses the terms of Sage and Saboteur and describes an internal battle struggle between the one who has access to your wisdom and insights (Sage) and the Saboteurs as internal enemies of us all.

The author identifies ten Saboteurs

  1. Judge
  2. Stickler
  3. Pleaser
  4. Hyper-Achiever
  5. Victim
  6. Hyper-Rational
  7. Hyper-Vigilant
  8. Restless
  9. Controller and
  10. Avoider

The author claims that one can improve your PQ considerably in as little as three weeks, which the recognized period to change habits. He claims that with an improved PQ, both individuals and teams in a range of areas from leaders to salespeople perform 30-35% better on average, and be less stressed as well.

The book is organized follows:

  • Part I: What Is Positive Intelligence and PQ?
  • Part II: First Strategy: Weaken Your Saboteurs – discusses ways to decrease the power the negative voice(s) have so that you are less likely to be sabotaged by your own thoughts and perceptions.
  • Part III: Second Strategy: Strengthen Your Sage
  • Part IV: Third Strategy: Build Your PQ Brain Muscles
  • Part V: How to Measure Your Progress
  • Part VI: Applications
  • Appendix A: PQ Brain Fundamentals

Charmine claims to show how anyone can take tangible steps to unleash the vast, untapped powers of the mind and develop new brain “muscles,” by accessing untapped powers with energizing mental “power” games.

We all have have habits that inspire to demotivate us . Chamine highlights and remind us that it is those habits and practices that may be the blockage that is limiting or group or individual growthI find that PQ has definite, real value, and the statistics in the book are appealing, but I also recall it remains a blend of PQ, EQ and IQ that all impact results

Self-help books are inspiring, yet as I read this I am not certain if there really is anything new here or is it the same stuff as many other similar books but with different names.

I try to be a common sense person and feel the need to step back and read this book slower than I read most books to see for myself if the 21 days can make the difference and change habits

About John J. Hogan

John J. Hogan   John J. Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO 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 and Chief Learning Officer of HospitalityEducators.com, which was founded in 2010 as a solutions center for hotel owners and managers. He is also the Principal of HoganHospitality.com, which offers hotel expert witness services and hospitality consulting.    Specific new services, workshops and keynote topics can be found at  johnjhogan.com  

He is currently working with his partner Kathleen Hogan and others on several new projects including the HOTELIERMASTERMIND series, an eBook series with Howard Feiertag on hotel sales, two new web sites and a fresh set of Keynote and Workshop programs, hospitality services and columns.


Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), Certified Master Hotel Supplier (CMHS), Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE), Certified Hotel Owner (CHO)

Contact: John Hogan John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com  / 602-799-5375

Nothing Changes Until You Do

Good lessons – recommended reading over a two week period, in small tastes and taking time to sink in.   This book is a series of contrasts.

 

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The contrasts are an evolution of time and are generally positive and to the point.

I am not familiar with the career of Mike Robbins as a ballplayer, but it can be interesting to see the world from a different profession than our own. Some can say that most readers don’t really care about his ego and success in baseball, yet we all care about our life story and that is what we know about.

The author’s writings style uses an easy to read format and the chapters are short and bite sized. This is a book from Hay House publishing and one can see the values and approach that many of their authors use.

In particular, I like the following chapters
* Chapter one – focus on what really matters
* Chapter six – ask for help
* Chapter seven – don’t get caught in the trap of comparison
* Chapter 10 – don’t take yourself too seriously
* Chapter 13 – give yourself permission to make mistakes
* Chapter 17 – remember that it’s not the circumstances, it’s you
* Chapter 18 – appreciate people
* Chapter 20 – give yourself permission to cry
* Chapter 24 – practice gratitude
* Chapter 27 – remember that you are much more than what you do
* Chapter 31 – be easily amazed
* Chapter 37 – focus on what you can control
* Chapter 40 – live like you’re going to die (because you are someday)

I read two books a week, with one novel and one for something to expand my mind in a different direction. I doubt if there is much information in this book that many of us have not been exposed to previously, yet we all realize that we must keep repeating the lessons that are hard for us to learn if we are to gain from their strength.

This is a good book and a recommended reading over a two week period, in small tastes and taking time to sink in.

John Hogan, CHA CHMS CHE CHO
HospitalityEducators
Hogan Hospitality

11 Lessons in Leadership from the Greatest Winner in the 20th Century

The 2016 NBA championship has concluded and the Cleveland Cavaliers have been able to bring home a “best of category” for the 1st time in sports in five decades. The Minnesota Lynx are the current WNBA champions.

Russell Rules This book was written by a professional who is the Greatest Team Champion in the 20th Century in ALL sports.

The messages are all about: Team, Leadership and Accountability

RECOMMENDED READING – RUSSELL RULES

Sports have a certain effect on people everywhere in the world. This effect can include excitement and enjoyment when our team wins, and frustration and disappointment if the outcome is not what we hoped for.

Bill Russell became a sports icon with reason. He is an original, with more championships than any other team player as evidenced by his recognition in being named the 20th century’s greatest team player by Sports Illustrated and HBO called him the greatest winner in the 20th century. He was the 1st African American to coach a professional sports team and won two championships as a player/coach without even an assistant coach. He won championships in the NCAA, the Olympics and an NBA championship  all in the same year (1956).

The book, RUSSELL RULES is a collection of basketball and personal examples from Russell’s career. The balance between sports, business and personal integrity is clear, easy to follow and is genuinely interesting, whether one likes sports or not.

The 11 lessons address commitment, team decision processes, accountability, change, discipline, the need for the desire to win and a number of how-to business examples. These lessons include easy to follow messages on ego management, active listening, setting standards and meeting them, seeking and encouraging perfection, building mutual trust, positive control, using imagination to to enhance performance, leadership by establishing and reinforcing discipline, as well as earned delegation and finally, always looking for the win, whatever the odds.

Russell has not been an active part of the Celtics in recent years, but in a 2008 televised interview with the current center, Kevin Garnett, one could hear that his public words of counsel and planning reflected what must have been said in private between the two men of different generations. Russell expressed that he felt the current Celtic team could win two or three championships if they played as a team. Those exchanges were meaningful to me as part of team, leadership and accountability in every day examples of life.

_______________________________________________________
On a related note (after this book was written), in February of 2011, US President Barack Obama awarded Bill Russell with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian award. This recognition is given to men and women who have “made an especially meritorious contribution to (1), the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” The White House issued the following statement regarding Russell’s honor.

Bill Russell is the former Boston Celtics’ Captain who almost single-handedly redefined the game of basketball. Russell led the Celtics to a virtually unparalleled string of eleven championships in thirteen years and was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player five times. The first African American to coach in the NBA–indeed he was the first to coach a major sport at the professional level in the United States–Bill Russell is also an impassioned advocate of human rights. He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and has been a consistent advocate of equality.

The book epilogue has an outstanding message ” making CELTIC PRIDE work for you. I urge you to read this resource and enjoy!

As always, feedback or comments are welcome
John Hogan CHA CHE CMHS CHO
HoganHospitality
HospitalityEducators com