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 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

The Power of Follow Up – High Tech or High Touch?

We all deal with technology daily, whether it is one of dozens of social media outlets, responding to a guest review, using an app as either a consumer or service provider or simply emails.

To those of us over 40, we may recall when we were promised computers were going to make our lives simpler and shorten our work week.   While we likely agree that technology has increased our capabilities, I do not know many of us that have found the work week to be anything but more complex, as those potential capabilities have added many more duties and activities.

This column is a snap shot message – the power of follow up.

Like most of us, I have more than one computer and my 17″ laptop Dell failed for a 2nd time over a 4 year period. Complete freeze – would not boot, and luckily for me, it was a back up unit and I had opted for  a service plan with Data Doctors after the 1st failure.   They analyzed the problem, offered several solutions and two days later returned it to me with a minimal bill for parts.   It is now almost completely rebuilt and things seem to be in order.

The follow up came today with a phone call from the tech who serviced my unit.   Without prompting, he called me to see if it was working as it needed to be.   This was a highly unusual event – the follow up from email evaluations accompanies most tech situations, but someone taking the time to reach out PERSONALLY was an unexpected and pleasant surprise.

The cost to Data Doctors?    $000.00

The benefit to me?  The sense that someone actually cared about how their quality of work affected me!

Which was this – high tech or high touch?  The answer is both.

In hospitality, we need to remember this fact – guests want to be appreciated and valued, and that includes the sincere, genuine attention that cannot be scripted or mandated by a brand standard or rule.  It needs to come from us – the hotel owner, manager and associate!

There are many ways to identify those unique touch points, and we @HospitalityEducators.com can help you find them.

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

A Shared holiday smile from SIEGEL SAYS and HOTEL-ONLINE – Some Thanksgiving fun facts

A Shared holiday smile from SIEGEL SAYS and HOTEL-ONLINE

And now for you-know-what…

Some Thanksgiving fun facts:

  •  The Pilgrims’ first-ever Thanksgiving took place over three days in Plymouth, Mass.
  • Gov. William Bradford planned the first Thanksgiving dinner.
  • The Pilgrims ate items like lobster, hickory nuts, cabbage, goat cheese and squash at the first Thanksgiving.
  • Pilgrims probably didn’t wear all black with big buckles. That stereotype was created by illustrators in the 19th century.
  • A writer named Sarah Josepha Hale is responsible for Thanksgiving’s national holiday status. She asked President Abraham Lincoln to declare it an American holiday in October 1863.
  • Congress designated Thanksgiving as an official holiday in 1941.
  • For the past 67 years, the president has pardoned a live turkey every Thanksgiving. The pardoned turkeys get to live on a farm until they die of old age.
  • Benjamin Franklin campaigned for the turkey, not the bald eagle, to be the national bird.
  • Nearly 90 percent of Americans eat turkey every Thanksgiving.
  • About 46 million turkeys are eaten every Thanksgiving.
  • Turkey doesn’t make you tired. It contains no more tryptophan than cheese or chicken.
  • Most of the turkeys come from Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia and Indiana.
  • Turkeys can’t see well at night, and if they’re raised commercially, they can’t fly.
  • Most Thanksgiving turkeys weigh about 15 pounds. They’re usually 70 percent to 30 percent white meat/dark meat.
  • Every year, the average person in the United States eats about 17 pounds of turkey.
  • The oldest Thanksgiving day parade was organized by Gimbels department store in 1920. The Macy’s parade didn’t start until four years later.
  • The Wednesday before Thanksgiving has the most liquor sales of the whole year.

Happy US Thanksgiving from Hospitality Educators!

HE logo

Kathleen Hogan and John Hogan  

480-436-0283           Service@HospitalityEducators.com

Hotel Common Sense – Philosophy #2

HOSPITALITY PRINCIPLES of SUCCESS

Hotel Common Sense –  Philosophy #2

Or, why the Open Door policy no longer works…

Anyone who is familiar with my full-length columns or shorter blogs knows that I  am a fan of Tom Peters.  There was a period when he may have believed his own PR press a bit too much in the mid 1990s, but I have found his messages to be thought provoking with sound counsel that we need to evolve and change or we will not be around much longer.

Peters, in his first major book with co-author Bob Waterman, took the theme of one of the world’s leading computer companies, Hewlett-Packard, and expanded the notion of truly reaching out to the people in our organizations who are responsible for the bulk of customer contact and building customer loyalty.  They challenged us to look at the symbol of the open door, which has ceased to be a meaningful statement.

The Open Door used to mean an associate (better word for employee) could come to us and ask for help in resolving problems with overtime, schedules, a day off or other personal matters.  I maintain that the Open Door policy, once the symbol of the manager or leader who really cared about their staff, is just not effective any more. The reason I state this is I feel we must realize that the hospitality industry has embraced social media and immediate communication exists among our staff as well as our guests.

While the above situations of personal matters still exist, the reality of today’s hectic pace is frequently more complicated. Drugs/alcohol abuse, sexual harassment, extended families and other more complicated issues are realities of today. While some of us might naively prefer to think there are not serious problems in the workplace today, we need only to look online at the latest “headlines” to see the truth.

The hospitality industry is certainly not immune to the pressures of today’s realities. This industry has ample temptations (bedrooms, alcohol, cash, and “power”) and the added stress of long hours and the pressure to be profitable in periods of diminishing returns can be a manager’s nightmare.

Is there a solution?

Consider the OPEN FLOOR contrasted with the OPEN DOOR.  I am not trying to use a simple play on words, but rather I am focusing on the fact that we cannot rely on our “good intentions” of the open door to be really in touch with our staff.  There will always be some people who seek us out as managers, but the truth is we must take to the OPEN FLOOR every day, beginning today as we read this.  By this, I mean setting our priorities on what most of us say and consider to be our most important asset: our staff. The OPEN FLOOR means something as basic as managers and department heads warmly greeting each member of the staff each shift. It means being in the  kitchen, the laundry, the receiving dock, the security patrol, with the sales team on calls and in the parking lot each day with the people whose livelihood takes place in those areas.

Paperwork, reports and online promotions have their place and need to be addressed and submitted on time. Some of it can be (and should be) delegated like many Embassy Suites try to do with their assistant general managers.  All reports should be periodically reviewed to see if they are still useful (to anyone) or if they have become just busywork.

Howard Feiertag, my friend and co-author of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD, once shared his observations of a downtown New York City hotel.  He commented how EVERYONE (general manager, front desk, bell staff, concierge, F&B, etc.) shook hands with their fellow workers and colleagues when they first saw each other daily.

Like they were “friends.”

Imagine that, and in New York City.

I need  to call Howard and ask him if he knows if they still do this.

MBWA – Management by Walking Around – try it!

Hotel Common Sense Philosophy #2 = Learn to listen more, talk less. Management by Walking Around is Priority #1.

Keys to Success Hospitality Tip of the Week:   Focus on MBWA

A challenge to every manager who is responsible for 5 or more people:  measure your in and out of the office time and at the end of the week, see how much time you spent ACTIVELY INTERACTING with your team.

The goal is 70% of your time out of the office – how did you do?

What will you do next week?

Recommended Reading/Viewing from John J Hogan|Stories Of The Women and Men Lost On September 11

By John Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO
September 10, 2015

2001-2015 = 14 years of memories, lessons learned and values appreciated

9-11 marked the first time the USA had been successfully attacked on its own soil in an undeclared war by terrorists and it changed the country forever in many ways. Innocent civilians of all religions, professions, ages and activities were affected in ways not imagined before.

I was with a  major hotel company on that day and my team and I were delivering a workshop out of state. The 100% closing of all airports nationwide, of some roads, and of many government and business centers was an eerie sensation for the week that followed.

In the years since that day, on those times when I am interacting with groups and others on September 11th, I make sure we take that moment of silence to remember and reflect.

I encourage you to watch the following You Tube and then read the short recap of real people’s lives that follow.

When the World Stopped Turning: A 9/11 tribute

Remember and Reflect

While this blog first was published last year,  the lessons we learned from each other and about inner strengths are worth another look.

American Lives: The Stories Of The Men And Women Lost On September 11

I have had this book for several years now – I found it at a used book sale. I almost passed it by, but was genuinely moved by the collection of personal stories complied by the staff of Newsday and the Tribune Company.   If you choose to pass on the book, I understand – it is not easy to keep returning to such a memory, but I strongly recommend you read the brief collection of thoughts below.

This is a mini-biography of some of the women and men who lost their lives on that day.  Some of what really moved me were the titles in the stories.  You will understand without even reading the full story:

  • Robert, there’s another plane coming
  • Dad, I gotta go. There’s smoke in here now
  • Take care of my kids
  • She still lives in his dreams
  • She opened up his world
  • A recovered ring completes a circle of life
  • He made every day a party
  • That day, she learned she was pregnant
  • After 20 years, they still held hands
  • A hero by any definition
  • He ignored his own order to flee
  • Firefighting was all he talked about
  • He dreamed of a school for autistic kids
  • She beat Hodgkin’s and eased others pains
  • Her family’s first college graduate
  • Death in a place of prayer
  • They knew what was important
  • She kept going back in
  • A rescuer who wouldn’t be stopped
  • A coach who brought out kid’s potential
  • Her husband watched her disappear
  • She tried to block the cockpit
  • The man who said “let’s roll”
  • He stayed to check on an elderly colleague
  • A cool army vet who helped others evacuate
  • He saved his wife, but not himself
  • A son is born as a father is mourned
  • and probably 200 more headings and stories

The book is only 200 pages in a slightly oversize format.  The five sections are to the point:

Little Brother, You’re MVP in our hearts, and as sub-sections includes
1. last phone calls
2. love stories
3. FDNY and
4. lost promises

The first into heaven
5. they died together
6. rescuers
7. mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers
8. on the planes

A Husband is Missing No More
9. High Finance
10. New Americans
11. In the Pentagon

A Man of Unusual Disposition
12. free spirits
13. tower people
14. legacies

The List of the Lost
World Trade Center Occupants
Pentagon
Emergency/Rescue Personnel
American Airline Flight #11 -WTC North Tower
United Airliners Flight #175 -WTC South Tower
American Airlines Flight # 77 – Pentagon
United Airlines Flight #93 – Pennsylvania

HospitalityEducators.com was created to help hospitality businesses address problems via a training and information resource site to help you increase your Hotel’s revenue, market share and profitability.   This site can help you solve your problems now!      Read More 

  Success does not come by accident or chance.

Contact us for assistance – John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com or 602-799-5375

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