It all makes sense – but I was still surprised to hear it.
It was Monday morning.
I was engaged in my usual morning routine.
That is –
Staring in the mirror like a dope.
Listening to the radio.
The New England Patriots had clobbered the Pittsburgh Steelers the night before and ESPN’s Louis Riddick was commenting on Patriots’ Coach Bill Belichick.
Riddick had played for Belichick more than 20 years ago when they both were with the Cleveland Browns.
Riddick said Belichick had a unique way of team-building.
Belichick was equally and consistently gruff with his players.
That was it.
In fact, said Riddick, no matter if the team won or lost – or how well he had personally played – Belichick would always come up and ask him the same question.
“What are you going to do to get better by next week?”
Riddick said it was aggravating.
But he sure didn’t have any complaints about the overall results.
While driving home after work later in the day, I heard a podcast featuring Horst Schulze.
(Not a former NFL football player or sports commentator.)
Horst Schulze is the Chairman and CEO of Capella Hotel.
And about 35 years ago, he co-founded the Ritz-Carlton.
This feat came well after beginning his career in the hospitality field as a full-time hotel bus boy at the age of 14.
From his first day lugging trays of dishes and silverware, Schulze’s entire working life has been dedicated to creating, sustaining, and teaching world-class service.
He’s reaped the financial rewards of inspiring the delivery of world-class service in his hotels – and so have the people at every level who have worked to help him meet the needs of the guests, from housekeepers and maintenance workers, to the wait staff and the chefs.
He makes sure to reward their efforts.
Schulze was asked how he encourages all of his team members to habitually go the extra mile and serve others at such a high level.
How he responded reminded me of the Belichick story I had heard earlier in the day.
“We challenge ourselves to serve with distinction by looking beyond the proper cleaning of rooms daily, delivering fresh and clean towels, and being courteous 24/7. It’s not about any of that daily stuff.”
“Rather,” Schulze said. “We challenge each other to do whatever we can to make sure there is absolutely no question every guest will choose us to stay with us again on their next visit.”
Impact the next game.
Impact the next hotel stay.
I get it.
There sure aren’t any bask in the moment feel-goodisms from Belichick and Schulze.
Even I picked up on that.
They’re all about keeping the focus on next time.
That’s what winners do.
Now… please don’t let any of this get your hopes up about the quality of tomorrow’s Encourager.
It probably won’t be any better than any of the rest of them.
Remember, I only learned about the value of focusing on next time less than 48 hours ago.
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