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E96 | How To Build A Culture Of Excellence with Horst Schulze
Episode 9616th June 2020 • The Melting Pot with Dominic Monkhouse • Dominic Monkhouse
00:00:00 00:50:22

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While you will have heard of the Ritz Carlton hotel group, you may not necessarily know who founded it - meet Horst Schulze, the man, the myth, the legend. 

Horst is legendary for creating the infamous operating and service standards for which the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company are renowned. 

“I talked to an institution recently and I said, ‘Don't you want to be the very best in the country?’ He said, ‘well that would be arrogant’. In other words, you don't intend for your investors, for your employees to be the very best?”

Horst has been in the hotel business since he was 14 years old, cutting his teeth as a server’s assistant in a German resort town. He ‘worked to work’ before realising one day that he’d been approaching work wrong. An inspirational maître d'hôtel had taught him early on to ‘work to create excellence’, and he hadn’t been doing that. 

“I didn't go to work to create excellence, which you taught me. I apologise, it will never happen again. And what a silly thing to waste your time to just fulfil a function, like a chair.”

That was the turning point for him. From there his career accelerated and exploded.

After leaving The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, Horst went on to found Capella Hotel Group. Again, you may not know who they are, but you’ll remember when President Donald Trump met with North Korea’s Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un - that meeting took place in the Capella Hotel in Singapore. 

“Excellence is never an accident. It's always the result of high intentions. Vision and high intention and hard work. Yeah, that is culture. High intention, hard work.”

This is a truly insightful and entertaining conversation, we hope you enjoy it. 

On today’s podcast:

  • Building a culture of excellence
  • Tipping in hotels
  • The difference between a manager and a leader
  • How to build the best organisation
  • Repeat teaching values
  • The three types of customers
  • Empowering employees