Getting Your Business to Dance with Jim Donald, CEO, Extended Stay America
Who you missed: Jim Donald is the current CEO of Extended Stay Hotels and former CEO of Starbucks and Haggen Food & Pharmacy. He was named one of the “Top 25 CEO’s in the World” by the Best Practice Institute in 2006 and one of the “25 Most Influential Business Travel Executives of 2013” by Business Travel News. He has a reputation for turning around financially ailing companies toward growth. Donald speaks to many groups to share his experience as a leader focused on innovation, quality, service, strong relationships within the community, and risk-taking with the freedom to fail.
What you missed: Getting Your Business to Dance: Donald explains six “dance lessons” that are necessary to implement in order to ramp up your business when no one is buying.
1. Have a fish story – In other words, what are you going to tell people about your business? Have a story to tell so people remember you years later.
2. Never be bigger than the front line – It is important to present yourself as an equal and not above or better than the average person. Employees lead the way and it is necessary to relate to them on their level.
3. Go where you have never been before – Send a personal message to associates/guests/clients that makes them feel comfortable.
4. Communicate to everyone in the organization – Speak a language that other people can understand. Realize that everyone is powerful within the company.
5. Encourage risk taking with the freedom to fail – Donald shared how he gives a “Get Out of Jail Free” card to encourage his employees to take risks no matter the end result.
6. Celebrate the success of others – It’s not about you anymore! Create an environment that shares success stories.