Interview with Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks

Once a week, in his “Corner Office” column, Adam Bryant of the NY Times interviews a Chief Executive about leadership issues.

This week, Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks, discussed, among other topics, why it is important to respect other people’s time.  Time truly is one of our scarcest and thus most precious resources.  Time passes at the same rate for each of us, no matter how happy, healthy, wealthy, or powerful we may be: 24 hours is still 24 hours.

This concept of respecting people’s time has a couple of applications to the guest experience in the hospitality industry:

  • First, leaders must respect their team members’ time because, as Mr. Katzenberg pointed out, if people are over-worked, the quality of their work diminishes.  Is the restaurant server who’s at the end of a double shift after 10 straight days of work really as on-the-ball as he should be in order to provide a memorable—or at least, problem-free—guest experience?
  • Second, in the hospitality business, we do not just provide our guests with a clean room, hot meal, relaxing massage, or tour through the Caribbean; we provide our guests with time.  For example, one of the chief goals of a hotel is to allow business travelers to be more productive while they are on the road.  This is achieved through a guest experience that includes a rapid check-in process, high-speed internet access, a skilled concierge, in-room dining, and so forth.

When you step back and think about the fact that your actions affect how other people spend their time, which is the one thing they can never order more of, it is a potent realization—and likely one that would affect the way we view leadership and the guest experience.

Read the NY Times article here.

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