14550 Lee Rd, Chantilly, VA 20151

CNLP 263: Horst Schulze with Lessons From the Ritz-Carlton on Coaching the Best From a Team When You Can’t Pay Top Wages, What Guests Really Want, How to Satisfy a Customer and What To Do With Customer Complaints


by Carey Nieuwhof: At age 14, Horst Schulze left home to start in the hotel industry in Germany. What he learned there introduced true luxury to America.

In this wide-ranging and candid interview, Horst talks about what customers really want, how to build a world class team with lower wage employees, how to empower your team, how to reduce employee turnover and how to handle customer complaints.

Welcome to Episode 263 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Guest Links

Horst Schulze | Twitter | Excellence Wins

Episode Links

Discover what’s stopping your church from growing. Gain instant access to my free Church Growth Masterclass Assessment at churchgrowthmasterclass.com today.

Get your volunteers ready to serve with simple online training. Try TrainedUp free for 14 days at servehq.church.

3 Insights from Horst

1. Calling people to excellence brings about excellent results

As a result of a lesson he learned from a maitre’d, Horst’s motto became: “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentleman.” He helped his employees realize that if they work for Horst they are all ladies and gentlemen who are serving other ladies and gentleman.

This caused a change of approach and mindset in his employees. They began to show up and produce excellence, because his employees were not showing up just to work, they were showing up to create excellence at every level.

2. Having employees that are nice can be the largest growth engine for an organization

According to Horst, being nice is the largest driver of customer satisfaction and it leads to loyalty. The very thing that doesn’t cost anything is what can be the biggest advantage for your organization. The challenge comes when you have to keep this standard of nice all the way up and down the company ladder. Horst follows a 4 step process to ensure his employees are nice across the board.

Selection – If you can improve your selection of employees a few percentages above the competition, you will win.

Orientation – Horst’s company teaches new employees about the company, what they value, and that they are not coming to just work, but to create excellence.

Training – They train every employee in the 20 things that are a requirement for any employee in the organization to live out.

Sustaining – The manager is responsible for bringing each of the 20 company requirements in front of their employees on a regular basis. It is the manager’s fault if an employee doesn’t know the values.

3. To avoid turnover, keep your employees engaged in your mission

Often, enthusiastic employees fall into mediocrity after a few months because the leadership does not keep the “why” in front of employees on a regular basis. In Horst’s organizations, if a leader sees someone not producing excellence they immediately call it out and ask “would a gentleman act like that?”

When Leaders keep the people they are leading accountable to the mission, their people stay engaged with the vision and continue to be excellent, passionate employees. When managers and leaders fail to hold the mission in front of their people, they begin to fail. When employees begin to disconnect from the mission, they will leave your organization.

Quotes from Episode 263

Don’t worry about the money. Worry about the things that make the money. @horstschulzeClick To Tweet

When I started Ritz-Carlton, I made that the motto of the organization, ‘We are not servants, we are all ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.’ @horstschulzeClick To Tweet

The first step of service has to be exceptional. @horstschulzeClick To Tweet

Being nice is the largest driver of customer satisfaction. @horstschulzeClick To Tweet

When you have a philosophy, you have to have systems to implement it. @horstschulzeClick To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 263

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

Get Your Church Growing

Did you know that 9 out of 10 churches don’t grow? Are you one of them?

You likely didn’t get into ministry to watch your church plateau or, worse yet, decline. You wanted God to use you to reach new people with the good news. You wanted to see your church grow. You wanted to make an impact on your community that would outlast you.

But the odds are, it’s not happening. And the thing is, you’re not alone. We live in an era where 94% of churches aren’t growing or aren’t growing as fast as their communities. Barely 1 out of 20 churches are effectively reaching their neighbors for Jesus. Despite how desperately our communities need to hear and engage with the good news about Jesus, many churches are lost when it comes to reaching a postmodern culture.

That’s why I put together the Church Growth Masterclass. It’s everything I wish I knew about church growth when I got into ministry more than 20 years ago.

I can’t make a church grow. You can’t make a church grow. Only God can do that. But I believe you can position your church to grow. You can knock down the barriers that keep you from growing. You can eliminate the things that keep your church from growing and implement some strategies that will help you reach far more people. That’s what I’d love to help you do in the Church Growth Masterclass.

In the Church Growth Masterclass I’ll show you:

The 10 reasons your church isn’t growing
Why even committed church-goers aren’t attending as often as before
How to tell if your church leaders are getting burned out
The five keys to your church better impacting millennials.
What to do when a church wants to grow … but not change

You can learn more and gain instant access to the course today.

Subscribed Yet? 

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Nancy Duarte, Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni, Francis Chan, Ann Voskamp, Erwin McManus and many others.

Subscribe using your favorite podcast app via

Apple Podcasts


Google Play



Spread the Word. Leave a Rating and Review

Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Sean Cannell

Sean Cannell started at almost nothing on YouTube a few years ago. Today his channel has over 750 thousand subscribers and his videos have been viewed over 40 million times. Sean shares his YouTube secrets, talks about how to get started on YouTube even if you don’t have money or staff, and why the future online has to include video.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 264.

The post CNLP 263: Horst Schulze with Lessons From the Ritz-Carlton on Coaching the Best From a Team When You Can’t Pay Top Wages, What Guests Really Want, How to Satisfy a Customer and What To Do With Customer Complaints appeared first on CareyNieuwhof.com.

Source: CNLP 263: Horst Schulze with Lessons From the Ritz-Carlton on Coaching the Best From a Team When You Can’t Pay Top Wages, What Guests Really Want, How to Satisfy a Customer and What To Do With Customer Complaints