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Ricco DEBLANK, General Manager of Ritz-Carlton Tokyo, on ‘how to create the perfect morning’

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(APPLAUSE) SOUND OF BIRDS SINGING Ah, this is nice! Oh, listen to that! Beautiful! And the smell. The fresh grass that we cut last night. What a way to wake up! What a way to start another day! Wow! And that's how I wake up. And that's how, everyday, I think to myself how lucky I am that I wake up. So, earlier this year, the beginning of January, I got a call that said "Ricco, would you like to come and talk at TEDxTokyo?" I said "What am I going to talk about?" "You are going to talk about how to create the perfect morning." "Okay. Thank you very much." And I didn't know what to say. So I say my best thinking I do when I run or I walk. So I started running. And I ran, everyday, on the treadmill in my beautiful hotel. (LAUGHTER) I had to throw that in there. And I ran every single day. Until yesterday I finished my run 15 kilos lighter. Thank you! (LAUGHTER) I've got no more suits that fit me except my ties. I clearly decided there is no perfect morning. I found out that you want to say what is perfect but you'll never get there. You can have a vision of perfection, but you will never achieve it. You will never be able to reach, in my business, the perfect service moment. But you can have a goal of how you get your employees to get there. A goal of how you can influence, inspire people to reach more than they normally think they could do. And I tell my employees, "If you don't like your job, do something else." "If you don't like working in a hotel, there is so many other things you can do." "Probably, that fit your talents better." I tell you, if you don't like your jobs do something else, except the Princess, we love you, don't change your job. I'm sorry, you have a great job. But people, I think, realize that sometimes you sit on the train and you go to work like most of us, and we just go to do a job. And I had this conversation with my number two, the assisstant general manager who is a wonderful person. He inspires me, and he takes the train everyday. And I said to him last year, "What do you think of?" and he said, "Well, not much, I just think I'd like to get that seat before somebody else sits down." I said, "Why don't you create something that you can think about yourself to motivate yourself?" He didn't know how to, I said, "What are your hobbies?" He said, "I love golf." And me too. So we played golf and I always beat him. And we played some more golf and I said "Why don't you think about, on the train, playing golf?" He said, "Great!" and he went out and everyday he thought about his own course. He would walk that course from tee to green. And every hole he hit a par in his mind. Month after month, it's a true story, after three months we played golf he beat me. Because he put it in his mind that I am going to be better than what I were yesterday. He put it in his mind to improve himself. Going back to when I wake up. I wake up because I feel good. I wake up because I'm lucky to be awake. I go to work thinking, not "Ugh, I hope so-and-so will come to service my guests," and "Ugh, I hope the delivery man is coming because we have a hundred people coming for banquets and lunch today." I go to work knowing those people will be there. We have selected the best, talented employees. You go to work feeling good. I go to my office, some of you have been to my office, and I have this wonderful desk. There's nothing on it. Not one piece of paper. Some people who come into my office say, "Do you work here?" "You have been here three years!" YES! But if you put paper there it confuses me. It makes me uncomfortable. Also, when I have guests, I am their only contact. I am creating for myself a kind of perfect moment. Except, I've a computer, I do my emails then I'm back into the hotel meeting guests. Inspring employees. So how do you create the perfect morning? I think what you have to do, you have to find out for yourself what are you good at. What do you like? Or, what don't you like? And push away those evil thoughts. And only capture that positivity because positivity is contagious. When you are positive, people feel good about you. People stay at my hotel and they tell me why they stay there, "Because you are always so positive." I say, "Good, come back again." "And tell your friends!" I had a general manager from another hotel visit me the other day. He says, "How do you get your employees to smile so much? What's in the food here?" I said, "There's nothing. People feel good coming to work." "And people that don't feel good, they go and do something else." How do you create the perfect morning is up to you. It's up to you, and you, and you. It's not up to anybody else. If you want to have a perfect morning, go and do it. You have nothing to lose. If you want to keep those positive thoughts, go and keep those positive thoughts, because I think it works. Because remember, you got up this morning. And you got up this morning. And there is somebody else who didn't wake up. And that's why, everyday, I look at my wife, I look at my kids and I say "thank you, "I'm going to work, I'll come back tonight, I'm tired, but that's okay, but I'm going to have a great day today." That's six minutes, thank you for your attention. (APPLAUSE)

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 10 seconds
Country: Japan
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Producer: Virgin Earth & Ansur Pictures
Director: Andrew Malana
Views: 1,163
Posted by: tedxvideo on Dec 3, 2009

A talk given in Session 3 "How Can We Use Finite Resources To Propel Ourselves In The Future?" of TEDxTokyo 2009, held on May 22 at National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.

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