David welcomes legendary Culture Architect, Horst Schulze. Horst is one of the co-founders of The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company and over the course of his career transformed the approach of service and hospitality across multiple industries. In part one, Horst shares his humble beginnings in the service industry, why he joined the founding team of The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, and how he built a culture of customer service excellence.
About Horst Schulze: A legend and leader in the hotel world, Horst Schulze’s teachings and vision have reshaped the concepts of service and hospitality across industries.
Mr. Schulze’s professional life began more than 65 years ago as a server’s assistant in a German resort town. Throughout the years he worked for both Hilton Hotels and Hyatt Hotels Corporation before becoming one of the founding members of The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company in 1983. There, Mr. Schulze created the operating and service standards that have become world-famous.
During his tenure at The Ritz Carlton, Mr. Schulze served as President and COO responsible for the $2 billion operations worldwide. It was under his leadership that The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company became the first service-based company to be awarded the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award — twice.
In 1991, Mr. Schulze was recognized as “corporate hotelier of the world” by HOTELS magazine. In 1995, he was awarded the Ishikawa Medal for his personal contributions to the quality movement. In 1999, Johnson & Wales University gave him an honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree in Hospitality Management.
Most recently, Mr. Schulze has been honored as a “Leader in Luxury” by Travel Agent magazine and its sister publication Luxury Travel Advisor.
After leaving The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, Mr. Schulze went on to found The Capella Hotel Group. This luxury hotel company managed some of the most elite properties worldwide, and gave Mr. Schulze the opportunity to further define the luxury hotel industry, receiving countless awards and recognitions.
Today, Mr. Schulze serves as Expert in Residence at Arch + Tower, a boutique, organizational strategy consulting firm. He recently completed his first book on Excellence Wins.