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The Official Baldrige Blog

Baldrige Executive Fellows Meet Theodore Roosevelt

photo of Theodore Roosevelt

The Baldrige Executive Fellows just completed another successful meeting. I am always amazed at how much I learn at these meetings from the Baldrige Award recipients' senior leaders who give presentations, as well as from the Baldrige Fellows. The most recent session was hosted by Ritz-Carlton; they were joined by K&N Management as the second Baldrige Award recipient organization. This session was focused on customer and workforce excellence. There were many great insights, but I would like to focus on a particularly important one discussed by Ken Schiller, co-owner of K&N. He shared an important attribute of successful leaders, caring. He used a quote from Theodore Roosevelt, "Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care." Both K&N and Ritz-Carlton clearly demonstrate a caring environment for all employees.

Ritz-Carlton starts with a written Employee Promise and a Motto that is practiced every day. The Motto states, "We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen." Ritz-Carlton's Employee Promise states that their Ladies and Gentlemen are their most important resource and promises to foster "a work environment where diversity is valued, quality of life is enhanced, and individual aspirations are fulfilled."

K&N makes a Team Member Promise, "By applying the fundamentals of trust, respect, honesty, and leadership we promise to create an environment that preserves our core values, encourages personal growth, and inspires professional excellence." Leadership's job is to delight Team Members through "training and coaching, feedback, communication, and providing a fun, safe work environment." At K&N Management, 70% of the managers started as hourly employees.

In a Forbes blog post last year, John Hall stated that employees who feel valued and appreciated by leaders are much more likely to go above and beyond expectations of them. He discusses ways to show how leaders care for employees. Included in his recommendations are: look for ways to help with personal issues (K&N has a Team Member care team that is available to all Team Members), back them up with clients (Ritz-Carlton will help guests to stay elsewhere if they mistreat their Ladies and Gentlemen), and be real and transparent with employees. You can read all eleven recommendations in Hall's blog post. You can hear from Ritz-Carlton and K&N Management in person at the 27th Annual Quest for Excellence Conference. Both organizations will be presenting and participating in a town hall session on the Workforce of the Future.

Two Baldrige Core Values are Valuing People and Ethics and Transparency. They summarize the concepts discussed in this Blogrige post. How does your organization value its people, exhibit high ethics, and act transparently?

About the author

Harry Hertz “The Baldrige Cheermudgeon”

I am Harry Hertz, the Baldrige Cheermudgeon, and Director Emeritus of the Baldrige Program. I joined the Program in 1992 after a decade in management in the analytical chemistry and chemical sciences laboratories at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the home of the Baldrige Program. I started my career at NIST (NBS) as a bench analytical chemist.

My favorite aspects of the Baldrige Program are: (1) the opportunity to interact with leading thinkers from all sectors of the U.S. economy who serve as volunteers in the Baldrige Program, who participate in the Baldrige Executive Fellows Program, and who represent Award applicants at the forefront of the continuous journey to performance excellence, and (2) the intellectual challenge of synthesizing ideas from leading thinkers and from personal research into Insights on the Road to Performance Excellence and other blogs that tackle challenges at the “leading edge of validated leadership and performance practice,” and contribute to the continuous revision of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework.

Outside of work I spend my time with family (including three beautiful granddaughters), exercising, baking bread, traveling, educating tomorrow’s leaders, and participating on various boards and board committees.

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The new core values of Baldrige which is valuing people and ethics and transparency are relevant todays business. People as an asset of corporation : physics, emotion, mental, spiritual ... will give value added.

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