Leadership Solutions Blog

Excellence Comes from Leaders, Not Managers

HubSpot Video


In this short clip with Horst Schulze, Co-founder, President & COO of Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, he shares the importance of having the right people on your team. Schulze is an expert on creating excellence in his organization, and he believes that if your organization has a group of employees that is better than the competition, then your organization will beat the competition.

Schulze believes that great employees are selected, not hired. These days the word “leader” can be easily overused.  Many people in leadership positions are truly managers, not leaders.  A manager will make sure that employees do their job and check off the boxes.  A leader, however, will create an environment where the employees realize that they want to do their job. The result is that the boxes still get checked off, but the employees have a personal investment in those jobs.

These employees want to do their job because the vision has been shared with them and they’ve been invited to come along on the journey. Leadership in itself implies that the organization going somewhere, and if employees know and understand where, they will be more likely to invest their time and energy than they would if it were “just a job.” This small, beginning step is what Schulze believes starts the journey to excellence.

He also explains how this is even an appropriate way to view the hiring process and approach to excellence in the church world. While he has spoken with church leaders who are hesitant to take this approach for fear of seeming arrogant, Schulze believes that we are not called to be second best for parishioners, staff, and especially not for Christ.  We are called to do the very best we can.  Everyone should be shooting for excellence.


  1. In order to be excellent, an organization must have the right people “on the bus” (the right staff).
  2. Hire leaders, not managers.  Managers make sure employees do their job. Leaders create an environment where employees want to do their job.
  3. Leadership shows vision for the future and invites the staff to come on the journey.

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