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Excerpts from reviews of The Spirit to Serve: Marriott's Way
by J. W. Marriott, Jr. and Kathi Ann Brown
HarperBusiness (1997)

"Any company that began as a root-beer stand in 1927 with $6000 in seed money and now pulls in $12 billion as a global hotelier with 1,500 properties must have done something right. In The Spirit to Serve, J.W. Marriott Jr., chairman of Marriott International Inc., and co-author Kathi Ann Brown deliver folksy lessons about the enduring values underlying the successful company founded as Hot Shoppes in downtown Washington. A quick read, the slim volume provides inspiration for execs who want to connect with the basics...."

—BUSINESSWEEK, September 29, 1997


"If you want to see how the best leaders teach, pick up The Spirit to Serve: Marriott's Way, by J.W. Marriott, Jr. and Kathi Ann Brown...one of the best CEO autobiographies to come out in many years. Sure, Bill Marriott does a great job of describing what goes on behind the scenes—what people who work in the hotel industry call the "heart of the house"--but the real joy in the book is the business insight he drops almost in passing."

—WWW.BOOKPAGE.COM, February 1998



"If you asked Bill Marriott what the secrets were to his company's success, he might answer simply, "Never talk when you can listen," "Do your homework, but rely on your gut instincts," or any of a host of common-sense management cliches. And this book is full of them. But don't be put off. One of his favorites--"Don't waste time regretting mistakes. Learn from them and move on"—is what makes this book appealing. Marriott willingly relays insight on the company's failures as well as its successes....Although The Spirit to Serve: Marriott's Way reveals little that is new, his methodology is conveyed in a way that makes it seem not only practical, but easy to execute. It also offers business owners loads of practical customer service advice. All this while providing interesting history and insight into the rise of a local corporate giant."

—SMALL BUSINESS NEWS (Washington, D.C.), February 1998.



"Following in the footsteps of his father, Bill Marriott Sr., Marriott nternational's longtime CEO, Bill Marriott Jr. shares the successful approach of his family's hotel business in this inspiring collection of lessons. Marriott explains his relentless attention to the countless details of running a hotel...and his strong commitment to the hundreds of thousands of employees working the 1500-plus worldwide Marriott-managed hotels that up this $10 billion business. He explains the history of the phenomenal growth of this company and discusses past mergers and acquisitions while candidly admitting his mistakes. This personable, relevant learning experience for any service business joins similar works, such as David Packard's The HP Way...and Andy Grove's Only the Paranoid Survive....Highly recommended for academic and larger public libraries."

—LIBRARY JOURNAL, September 15, 1997



"...Marriott's success "secret" is personal core values combined with drive for progress. What makes the book fun is his relaxed, folksy perspective. When he makes his whirlwind site visits, for instance, he finds he has to bring paint remover with him--since his managers always paint the hotels when the boss visits, his suits end up covered in spots....Marriott is very low-key about his own role in building the empire, crediting his father for good decisions as well as bad (they turned down a 1957 offer to buy the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim). His frankness, however, is refreshing. More than once he notes that certain aspects of building a business can be boring, referring to the devotion to details and hard work required."

—JOURNAL OF BUSINESS STRATEGY, January 1998

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