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FourSeasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy byIsadoreSharpis an engaging memoir that narrates how the child of immigrantscreated the world’s most esteemed and thriving hotel chain. Thecompany illustrates Isadore’s vision to create a hotel that wouldgive the guests and employees a feeling of home (Sharp, 2009).Simultaneously, he wanted an enterprise that would engage everyperson from the topmost employee to the lowest subordinate,customers, and other stakeholders. As a result, the company hasunique leadership strategies and cares for the external and internalcustomers in varied ways.

Howthe company’s leadership is different from other hospitalitybusinesses?

Sharpwas not interested in following the ideas used by the competitors.Instead, he developed his management styles and technique (Sharp,2009). As such, the leaders in his company are unique compared toothers in the hospitality businesses. Four Seasons continuallychallenges them to achieve higher standards of services. Therefore,the leadership uses the glitch report to review the mistakes made onthe previous day (Sharp, 2009). They use the results from the glitchreport as a recovery mechanism to ensure that they have more apositive outcome in the future. Besides, it gives the management thecapacity to work closely with the subordinate staff. The leaders areless bosses and more communicators and mentors. Thus, next tomanaging, leadership has major functions to educate continually,strengthen, and authorize them to make great customer servicedecisions (Sharp, 2009).

Unlikeleadership practices in other hospitality businesses, leaders at FourSeasons do not believe that high work standards and requirementfrustrate and discourage the employees. Instead, they believe thatexercising high working standards ensures that performance rises tomeet the company expectations (Sharp, 2009). Moreover, the subsequentcustomer satisfaction improves self-esteem and confidence amongemployees. As a result, the leaders live up to the increasingself-perception, which continually increases the performance levelsin the company. As Sharp explains, management comprises of leaderswho can get the employees to desire to carry out the requiredactivities without necessarily directly them and having closesupervision (2009). Unlike leaders in other businesses who manageemployees, the leadership at Four Seasons is more concerned withbringing out the best in every individual to form a successful teamin the company. Hence, they are visible and available, which allowsthe employees to know what they are doing. The leadership style atFour Seasons turned around the management style that had beenpredominant for a century. Instead, it incorporated a technique thatrequired Sharp to change the leadership from bosses into unmentionedinstructors for the employees interacting with the customers (Sharp,2009).

Howthe company cares for internal customers

Sharpexplains that the most companies have traditionally treated thefrontline employees as dispensable commodities. Contrary, he wantedto have a company that would treat the workers as an elite group(Sharp, 2009). The company cares for the employees by treating themas valuable and equal members. Therefore, the leadership emphasizeson communication. It ensures that they learn as much as they can fromtheir employees, which helps in making the necessary changes andimprovements to maximize services delivery (Sharp, 2009).Furthermore, the customers mainly talk to the employees on issuesregarding the survives and the improvement recommendations they wouldlike to have in the future. Consequently, the management has to keepconstant communication with the employees to ensure that they learnwhat the customers are communicating (Sharp, 2009). On the otherhand, communication helps the employees to recognize the companyprioritizes, which influences them to act on their creativity. Thestrategy also helps the employees to know that they are importantmembers of the company whose contributions are meaning and useful tothe overall performance.

Thecompany understands that a sense of accomplishment gives anindividual satisfaction, enthusiasm, self-confidence, incentive andability to live up to the perceive self-image (Sharp, 2009).Consequently, the company encourages these feeling by givingemployees feedback on good behavior. Additionally, the techniquerecognizes the desirable performances that the employees are allowedto repeat. Four Seasons empowers the frontline workers to make vitaldecisions without the risk of punishment. As such, Sharp explainsthat the company hired the employees who portrayed the suitablepersonality as opposed to a competitively attractive resume (Sharp,2009). In addition, the company culture is guided by the Golden Rule,which implies that every person should be treated equally. Thus, themanagement will respect the employees, who in turn will respect thecustomers. Four Seasons has a goal of zero mistakes. It requires theleadership to trust the employees to use their ability of perceptionand sincere efforts to turn mistakes into new service opportunities(Sharp, 2009).

Howthe company serves external customers?

WhenSharp started his hotel, he had a vision to run his business on aphilosophy that put the customer first. The company cares for theexternal customers by continually serving their needs throughincomparable services and exceptional quality. Thus, the hoteloperations and service provisions are based on the customer needs.When considering customer interests, it is crucial to make culturalconsideration as well. The customer cultural backgrounds andrequirements significantly influence their preferences. Thus, theorganization ensures that the strategies used to provide services donot violate the cultural norms of the customers. The company treatsall clients equally, which distinguishes and separates the FourSeasons from other hospitality businesses in terms of customerconsideration.

Accordingto Sharp, the service delivery strategies at Four Seasons are thedistinguishing factor that shows how the company cares for theircustomers (2009). The customers are treated with respects andemployees are required to have an attitude of kindness towards theclients. Sharp believed in constructing medium sized hotels thatwould offer exceptional services and quality. Thus, he focused on thequality of the services the hotels provided for the clients (Sharp,2009). As a result, the Four Seasons changed the idea of service andquality of the hotel industry. Although there are clients who expectdifferent rules due to their financial or social status, the companystrives to treat all customers equally. For example, if Sharp made alate reservation on a busy day, the employees would not scramble atable for him just because he is the owner (Sharp, 2009). He explainsthat such behavior may annoy some customer it will be against thephilosophy on which the company is founded.

Howwill you apply what you learned from the bookintoyour future professional life?

Thebook clearly illustrated how Sharp’s professional career was builton the foundation of family values, unwavering confidence despite thechallenges, and work ethic. I have learned that Sharp patientlycultivated relationships where he concentrated on the character of anindividual and continuously sought out like-minded people whoeventually became the business partners and employees. I can applythe lessons of patience as my professional life commences and despitethe challenges, I should push on. I have learned the importance ofthe principle of devotion where I will carry out different tasks tothe best of my abilities while treating colleagues as equals despitetheir job rank or salary. However, as articulated in the book, it isimportant to adhere to the behavioral and cultural standards set inan organization.

Whatis your own definition of Service Management?

Servicemanagement involves providing information technology services thatspecifically suit the needs of the customer. Therefore, the customergains because it provides value for money and improves customerinterpersonal relationships. Service management offers the customersincrease the customer’s access to and services at reduced prices.The service provider will have to perform activities that are uniqueto the services he or she provides. Nonetheless, some of theactivities may be similar despite differences in the nature ofservices. These activities ensure that the activities that make aparticular service practical and worthwhile. Thus, they have to becompleted before a client can start using the services.


Sharp,I. (2009). FourSeasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy.New York, N.Y: Portfolio.