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)

 

The Soft Edge | Recommended Reading from HospitalityEducators.com | Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success

 

The Soft Edge: Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success 

Rich Karlgaard

Soft Edge

I have likely read several hundred business books over the years, and approach each new one carefully.  While I am not in technology and am not drawn usually to books using it as the base, this book offers solid insights for including soft edge values into business culture.

The Soft Edge Values are

  1. Trust
  2. Smarts
  3. Teams
  4. Taste and
  5. Story

The author Rich Karlgaard discusses each in some detail, offering specific examples from different types of organizations.  These do not seem to be business school case studies, but real world, understandable stories.

When the news continues to dwell on the banking  and government abuses (including technology short cuts, legal or otherwise), this book about something other than hard data is refreshing.

Much of what is  published in the business press the last 10 years tends to  praise the “hard line edge” of business, even though so many of the staff in those companies are chewed up.  This book instead offers   observations and awareness about building trust and loyalty in business.  It offers solid examples and  case studies that reveal insights that came primarily from not start-ups that may or may not last, but from proven successes  that demanded  refinement, good judgment, and consideration to others.

Highly Recommended!

 

John J. Hogan   CHA CHMS CHE CHO

Hospitality Educators                 Hogan Hospitality

 

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Kathleen Hogan Ireland Sept 2013John J. 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.

John Hogan Sept 2013DSCN0215

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

Workshops Available: 

 Lessons From the Field:   A Common Sense Approach to Effective Hotel Sales 

A to Z Steps to Profits

45 Proven Ways to Succeed in Hospitality in Any Economy

Hotel Sales Action Steps to Succeed – Anytime, Anywhere 

10 Hotel Mistakes to Avoid in Selling 

90 Days to Success in Sales| Recommended Reading by HospitalityEducators.com

90 days to sales success

When I review and read a business book, I tend to compartmentalize it for content, approach, flow and conclusion. In this book, the author has generally done a solid job of planning, relating and summarizing the intent and value to be found in the work.

Overall, I believe this is a solid reference for someone who is new to selling, regardless of age. It has substance for those in career change situations, as well as those just entering the field from college. Hoxie asserts throughout the book that being a professional and successful sales professional is an ongoing commitment to building rapport, honest customer relationships and follow through.

The book is broken into 15 main topics areas
1. Sales basics
2. Initial prospecting
3. Initial sales meetings
4. Presentations, solutions
5. Closing
6. Objections
7. Goal setting
8. Continual prospecting
9. Industry specifics
10. The life of a salesperson
11. Sales management
12. Retail sales
13. Your 90 day plan
14. Beyond 90 days
15. Thirty three AST (I will not give the abbreviations away, but they are right on)

Hoxie properly opines that not all sales jobs are worth taking and that are clear benefits and downsides in selling. Each chapter covers a particular topic and offers suggestions and ideas. I do not totally understand the sequence of certain chapters, but that is the author’s perspective. It did seem the title of the book (90 day plan) would be introduced before the next to last chapter, but it does share some good concepts.

This book is very detailed and structured and I believe most readers will appreciate the easy to follow case studies and the pros and cons that are included along the way. The action steps offered are also a positive addition to this kind of book, as they could help guide readers in a week by week channel of activities.

The chapter on objection handling with specific phrases (“I’m on a budget,” “I need to ask….,” or “Can’t you do better on price” etc.) is an excellent practice field for almost anyone , with are scripted answers that could help the novice or uncertain person.

There are industry specific Q&A’s on selling advertising, real estate, services and different kinds of products. Hoxie highlights the common error in sales and marketing of focusing too much time and money on new potential clients, rather than appreciating the existing base.

I recommend this as A Solid Work for Those New to Sales

John J. Hogan CHA CMHS CHE CHO
HoganHospitality
HospitalityEducators

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Kathleen Hogan Ireland Sept 2013

John J 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 offeringJohn Hogan Sept 2013DSCN0215 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 or  service@hospitalityeducators.com

Workshops Available: 

 Lessons From the Field:   A Common Sense Approach to Effective Hotel Sales 

A to Z Steps to Profits

45 Proven Ways to Succeed in Hospitality in Any Economy

Hotel Sales Action Steps to Succeed – Anytime, Anywhere 

10 Hotel Mistakes to Avoid in Selling 

Lessons on Understanding Culture | Recommended Reading from HospitalityEducators.com

download (1) by Kai Hammerich and  Richard D. Lewis

 For a number of years, I served as the Director of Education and Cultural Diversity for a large international company and this topic interested me.

The book is not long – 10 chapters in 3 main sections and a total of 300 pages, which is short for a book that seems to have university classes as a main target. It also has shorter topics that focus on short subjects, and the highlights and summaries give the book the attributes of a reference.

Fish Can’t See Water is based on the authors experiences and analizes international cultures on how businesses succeed or fail based on those cultures. I found it to be an extensive introduction to the end products of national culture on a number of the world’s larger private companies.

Fish Can’t See Water illustrates how the corporate culture of a business is joined to its failure or success. Having worked for both financially strong organizations with a positive sense of culture as well as others that have had tunnel vision, one can see differences in the long term productivity of these organizations. Ignorance of national values and culture is a road map to failure.

I found this book was relatively easy to read, but not in a single reading as one needs to assess the content.

Well done – thought provoking!

Dr. John Hogan CHA CHE CHO
HospitalityEducators
Hogan Hospitality

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Kathleen Hogan Ireland Sept 2013John Hogan Sept 2013DSCN0215Dr. John 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

 

 

HospitalityEducators.com Recommended Reading | Getting to More Without Settling for Less

Scaling Up Excellence:

Getting to More Without Settling for Less

download

 

by Robert I. Sutton and  Huggy Rao

Over the past 30 years, I have lost track of how many business, process improvement and quality assurance books I have read (or in too many cases, tried to read but had to put down because of lack of substance.)

I have also learned that sometimes book reviews can be short and to the point, as is this one.

Many of those business authors  look for the latest fad, add some diagrams and fill pages with the trendy new buzzwords. This book is a rewarding exception to that approach, as it is a breath of fresh air that examines proven approaches to business and develops those ideas.

I have worked for large international companies , mid size and family owned companies, as well as entrepreneurial launches and this well researched book offers some excellent insights.  Scaling Up Excellence includes strategies on to help both people and their organizations focus on what should be the most important for the longest and time and how to be GREAT at it! The illustrations make sense that one can learn from.

This book is neither easy or hard to read, but it does require some thinking and assessment of the authors’ 7 Principles for achieving and maintaining excellence.

Highly Recommended!

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Dr. John Hogan CHA CMHS CHE CHO
Hospitality Educators
Hogan Hospitality

Kathleen Hogan Ireland Sept 2013John Hogan Sept 2013DSCN0215Dr. John 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