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

winning the brain game hL._SX355_BO1,204,203,200_

Why is this is such a good  best books 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

making the world better

 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

51tj30n5cil-_sx331_bo1204203200_Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential AND HOW YOU CAN ACHIEVE YOURS
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

The Most Important Words for the Workplace or “A short course in human relations”

Several years ago, a  famous athlete was being inducted to his sports’ hall of fame and in his remarks, he commented on the need and value for team work. He quoted the often used phrase “there is no I in team” but he added there is an I in “win”.

An online search for the author of the following short piece does not bring a definite answer – there are slight variations but the message is fundamentally the same:

6. The six most important words:      “I admit I make a mistake”

5. The 5 most important words:           “You did a good job”

4. The 4 most important words:          “What is your opinion?”

3. The 3 most important words:           “If you please”

2.  The 2 most important words:          “Thank you!”

  1.  The 1 most important word:           “WE”

The least most important word: “I”

This past week another sports team reached a new pinnacle.  The message in this link is not about sports but how the practice of Leadership and Team made a difference.       5 lessons Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots can teach you about leadership

Tom Peters in many of his writings states “Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders. “

What are you doing at your hotel today to Build Your Great Team?

All rights reserved by John J. Hogan and this column may be included in an upcoming book on hotel management. This article may not be reproduced without the expressed permission of the author.

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

Powers of Two – Answers for Hospitality and All Business Leaders – IF WE CAN DEAL WITH THE EGOS!

Our industry lost a significant and memorable leader a year ago, with the passing of Jack Vaughn, CHA.   This is a reminder that we all need each other to succeed.

Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative PairsPowers of TWO

5.0 out of 5 stars

A persuasive examination of the very character of what makes success.

This is an interesting read and one that I found to be very real because of two sets of people I found in my hospitality career to be excellent illustrations of such key partnerships.  I will reveal them at the end of the review

In today’s overexposed world of instant communication, the notion of celebrity as a single performer or player receives an enormous amount of attention, social media in a whirl of blatant over reporting. Yet, and when one does stop to assess the results of that celebrity, performer or player, it often is the team, the band, the back of the house support and others that actually made that performer or player seem to excel.

5.0 out of 5 stars

“Powers of Two” is a persuasive examination of the very character of what makes success. It does not examine or look at entire teams, but looks at how many combinations of TWO people have reached unheard of or unexpected successes, discoveries and accomplishment over a period of several hundred years.
Using detailed research and interviews, author Joshua Shenk surveys well-known, resourceful and unusually original pairs in a range of human endeavors:
• art – Theo and Vincent Van Gogh
• aviation- Orville and Wilbur Wright
• basketball – Larry Bird and Magic Johnson
• civil rights – Ralph Abernathy and Martin Luther King, Jr.
• comedy – Dave Chappelle and Neal Brennan
• dance – George Balanchine and Suzanne Farrell
• entertainment- Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin
• finance -Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger
• music –  Lennon and McCartney
• music – David Crosby and Graham Nash
• science – Marie and Pierre Curie
• technology – Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple
• womens rights – Susan Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton

5.0 out of 5 stars

This is the 1st book I have read by Shenk, and he has a style that is interesting and engaging.He shares stories that include some we have heard (the Beatles, some TV and comedies, Jobs and Apple) but he does more than repeat yarns.He assesses the POWERS OF TWO in six areas:
1. meeting
2. confluence
3. dialectics
4. distance
5. the infinite game
6. interruptionHe looks for the connectivity that links the two-s together and his analysis makes the energy and sometimes even the conflicts make sense. He examines rivalries, competitive spirits and the overall desire to be better with another than perhaps one can be by themselves.He contrasts the member of the pair that is more the one who imagines with the one that is more the one who delivers, but he does not imply that either is more or less important than the other. This analysis is certainly not always easy, and it is a compliment to author Shenk on how well he describes all these people over time, industries, genders and passionI wonder who is the influence or other in his “two?

The teams of two I have always been impressed with:
1.   Jack Vaughn and Joe Henry in 1975 joined forces to create what had originally been envisioned as primarily a seasonal hotel in Nashville near the Grand Old Opry. This pair created a vision that grew to be the 3000 room Opryland Hotel that became world class in their 25 years together.  To those who know them, we all realize the strengths and operational skills of Joe Henry allowed Jack Vaughn to use his PR and hospitality competencies which resulted in one of the finest convention hotels in the US.
 flat,550x550,075,fOpryland
2. Around the same period, Bob Hazard and Gerry Petitt joined forces initially at Best Western to expand that brand.  When they discovered the association business model did not allow them to operate in the entrepreneurial way they preferred, they moved to Quality Courts in 1980 and together worked with others to create what became one of the worlds largest hotel franchisors, CHOICE HOTELS.  Hazard was the ultimate ideas and marketing guy, while Petitt made the systems work.
 logo1
Henry, Vaughn, Petitt and Hazard were all very good at what they did, but none of them would have been nearly as successful without their key in their POWER OF TWO!
Hospitality.jpg
Highly recommended!
John Hogan CHA CMHS CHE CHO
Hospitality Educators
Hogan Hospitality

Kathleen Hogan Ireland Sept 2013John Hogan Sept 2013DSCN0215John Hogan CHA CMHS CHE CHO and Kathleen Hogan MBA CHO are the co-founders of  HospitalityEducators.com, which was created in 2010 to be a resource for hotel owners and professionals as they sought to improve market share, occupancy, operational efficiency and profitability.  The husband and wife team are transitioning the original membership site concept and evolving the business model today to a focused resource offering consulting, training, and individualized support to both hospitality and other service businesses.   Services include keynote addresses workshops, online support, metrics measurement, marketing and customer service from a group of more than a dozen experienced professionals.   While continuing to serve hospitality, the demand for these types of services is growing and can be personalized.

John Hogan is also the principal of HoganHospitality.com, which provides a range of expert professional services for hotel owners, including professional development for organizations, training, consulting and expert witness services.

Contact information:  Kathleen Hogan  480-436-0283, John Hogan 602-799-5375 orservice@hospitalityeducators.com

Heaven, by Hotel Standards | Observations from a New England Hotelier

People are drawn to hotels.  There’s something about the center of activity in a busy, full service hotel that attracts people from all walks of life globally..

The Parker House hotel in Boston Massachusetts has been open continuously since 1855, and is arguably the oldest continually operating hotel in the United States.

Mark Twain stayed here for a month  in 1877 and he is but one of literally hundreds of celebrities to have made this hotel very well known and appreciated.

Heaven, by Hotel Standards is a book about the history of the Omni Parker House, with information compiled by Susan Wilson.  On page eight of this book,  there’s a wonderful welcome letter from the current general manager, John Murtha, CHA. I had the privilege of meeting John, who is a gracious hotelier.   His letter is sincere and genuine, and  the information about the service of the general managers from 1927 until today helps to demonstrate a longevity and quality of what you seldom find in most brands or hotels today.

In addition to Mark Twain, this book identifies a Who’s Who of celebrities who have been patrons of this hotel   From the age of literature there are writers like Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorn and Longfellow.  From baseball, there are some well known names ranging from Babe Ruth to Ted Williams to Carl Yastrzemski to David Ortiz.  The hotel has been a center of  of activity in politics with people ranging from Ulysses S Grant, Mayor James Michael Curley, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Colin Powell, Bill Clinton and most recently, and former Governor Deval Patrick as guests.  Boston has a strong theatrical presence in the theater district and hosted a wide range of prominent actors including John Wilkes Booth (of Lincoln assassination infamy)  Sarah Bernhardt, as well as more contemporary entertainers as Joan Crawford, Judy Garland, James Dean, Stevie Nicks, Yo Yo Ma , Rachel Raye and Ben Affleck.

The hotel itself was built by Harvey Parker, who relocated from his family farm in Maine.  The Parker family arrived in America in the 1630s and Harvey did not want to remain in agriculture.  After number of years in Paris, he arrived in Boston and began his first venture into the hospitality business with a restaurant.  The book does a balanced review, explaining the evolution of the family from the restaurant business and to finding a location for and building what became the Parker house.

The Parker House has had a long time reputation for food and hospitality.  It is credited with creating or perfecting Boston Cream pie, lemon meringue pie, Boston Scrod and of course, the Parker House Rolls.  The book shares an anecdote about Eleanor Roosevelt looking and her request for the recipe, which had been a well kept secret until that request in 1933.

Celebrity chefs at this hotel have included television personalities Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay and Martha  Stewart who all wanted to link their reputation with that of the well-known Parker House.  There are stories in the book of organic farming from local farms, orchards and dairies 100 years before organic cooking became popular in the rest of the world.

The Saturday Club was a literary discussion group and included Henry David Thoreau, Henry Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier, diplomat Charles Francis Adams, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes and many others, who enjoyed the culinary service and hospitality of the Parker house once a month for a number of years.  Charles Dickens resided in the Parker house during his 1867-68 lecture tour.

The Parker house is located  across the street from the old Boston City Hall and  is two blocks from the state capitol.  Every US president from Grant to Clinton stayed at this hotel at some point during their presidency.  The book and movie the Last Hurrah was based on the experiences and activities of longtime mayor James Michael Curley.  The Kennedy family were regular visitors to the hotel and former Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neal is pictured in the book’s preface.

There are interesting interviews with longtime staff and stories about the wonderful jazz greats who performed at this hotel over the years. Some of the staff during the  mid 20th century  included Malcolm X and Ho Chi Min, who worked in the kitchens.

The book also discusses the business aspects of the hotel.  In the chapter called Architecturally Speaking, there are detailed explanations of the transitions and how the hotel evolved and maintained its presence.  There were major changes in operations and styles, with a series of owners over a 50 year period.  Downtown Boston today is very successful for hotels, but hotels were not considered to have a good location downtown in the late 1950s through mid seventies and the Parker House suffered. It did recover with the New England Dunfey family acquisition and management, The Parker House today is an example of exceptional hotel keeping with the Omni name and ownership.

Many grand old hotels today have reputations of ghosts, and the Parker House is no exception.  There are amusing stories of possible sightings from hotel founder Harvey Parker to Charles Dickens. We will have to decide for ourselves if this is fact or fiction.

Pages 105 to 107 lists of dozens of well-known names who enjoyed the hospitality of the Parker House from Mohammed Ali to the Who.

——————————————————————————————————————–

I began my career as a New England hotelier, working in Vermont and Massachusetts, including at the 1500 room Sheraton Boston.   I worked for the Dunfey Hotels when they owned the Parker House and was interviewed for the #2 manager position.   A crisis at the Dunfey Hotel I was managing in Atlanta prevented that transfer, but I do recall the elegance and history of this fine hotel.  I would have enjoyed being part of the history of this fine hotel.

The title of the book is Heaven, By Hotel Standards, and it is certainly an interesting snapshot of successful and innovative Boston hotel keeping over three centuries

Strongly recommended.

John J Hogan CHA CMHS CHE CHO

HospitalityEducators
Hogan Hospitality

Success does not come by accident or chance.

Contact us for assistance.

Hospitality.jpg

Kathleen Hogan Ireland Sept 2013John J. Hogan CHA CHE CHO and Kathleen Hogan  MBA CHO are the  co-founders of  HospitalityEducators.com, which was created in 2010 to be a resource for hotel owners and professionals as they sought to improve market share, occupancy, operational efficiency and profitability.

The husband and wife team are transitioning the original membership site concept and evolving the business model today to a focused resource offering consulting, training, and individualized support to both hospitality and other service businesses.   Services include keynote addresses workshops, online support, metrics measurement, marketing and customer service from a group of more than a dozen experienced professionals.   While continuing to serve hospitality, the demand for these types of services is growing and can be personalized.

John Hogan is also the principal of HoganHospitality.com, which provides a range of expert professional services for hotel owners, including professional development for organizations, training, consulting and expert witness services.

John Hogan Sept 2013DSCN0215

Contact information:  Kathleen Hogan  480-436-0283,

John Hogan

602-799-5375 or service@hospitalityeducators.com

Workshops Available include: 

From the Chalkboard to the Front Line

What They Don’t Teach You at Hotel School

Focus:

  • Hotel Profitability
  • Hotel Sales
  • Marketing Ideas
  • Hotel Operations

There will always be an ongoing debate on the comparative merits of experience versus the knowledge acquired in formal educational settings.   The best lessons anyone can learn from hotel schools include an awareness of what really occurs on the front line in the actual hospitality setting.  This keynote transitions the academic message to the real world of running a profitable hospitality business.

 Click    here   for Keynotes and Workshops Available 

HospitalityEducators.com Recommended Reading | The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service


Customer Rules

 

The author of this book has been responsible in his career for the customer service at one of the world’s best known service delivery companies -DisneyWorld. He was responsible for 40,000 people in hotels, theme parks, shopping, entertainment and sports centers.

Disney’s often been used as a training center for leadership and guest service and Lee Cockerell’s book on delivering sensational service is right on.

There are 39 chapters or rules in this 179 page book and they are all direct, common sense in approach in logical.

The introduction states simply “be nice”. He says this means being friendly, polite, pleasant, considerate and skilled. He cautions that rules and procedures will not work if you do not have the right people doing the right job. This is more common sense, but we have discovered in so many businesses that common sense is relatively unknown.

Examples of rules include:
Number 1 – customer service is not a department
Number 4 – do not get bored with the basics
Number 12- rehearse, rehearse, rehearse
Number 17- listen up
Number 24- do not make promises, make guarantees
Number 38- keep doing it better

The other 33 are just as direct and understandable, yet they need to be understood.

I have been in the hospitality industry my entire career and I find this a logical, easy-to-follow set of guidelines for anyone providing service to others.

Highly recommended!

John J Hogan CHA CMHS CHE CHO
HospitalityEducators
Hogan Hospitality

Success does not come by accident or chance.

Contact us for assistance.

Hospitality.jpg

Kathleen Hogan Ireland Sept 2013John J. Hogan CHA CHE CHO and Kathleen Hogan  MBA CHO are the  co-founders of  HospitalityEducators.com, which was created in 2010 to be a resource for hotel owners and professionals as they sought to improve market share, occupancy, operational efficiency and profitability.

The husband and wife team are transitioning the original membership site concept and evolving the business model today to a focused resource offering consulting, training, and individualized support to both hospitality and other service businesses.   Services include keynote addresses workshops, online support, metrics measurement, marketing and customer service from a group of more than a dozen experienced professionals.   While continuing to serve hospitality, the demand for these types of services is growing and can be personalized.

John Hogan is also the principal of HoganHospitality.com, which provides a range of expert professional services for hotel owners, including professional development for organizations, training, consulting and expert witness services.

John Hogan Sept 2013DSCN0215

 

 

Contact information:  Kathleen Hogan  480-436-0283,

John Hogan

602-799-5375 or service@hospitalityeducators.com

Workshops Available include: 

From the Chalkboard to the Front Line

What They Don’t Teach You at Hotel School

Focus:

  • Hotel Profitability
  • Hotel Sales
  • Marketing Ideas
  • Hotel Operations

There will always be an ongoing debate on the comparative merits of experience versus the knowledge acquired in formal educational settings.   The best lessons anyone can learn from hotel schools include an awareness of what really occurs on the front line in the actual hospitality setting.  This keynote transitions the academic message to the real world of running a profitable hospitality business.

Click    here   for Keynotes and Workshops Available