Goals. Beliefs. Principles.

isadore sharp

FOUR SEASONS. The Story of a Business Philosophy by Isadore Sharp, the founder and chairman of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

The above book had recently landed on my desk and I practically inhaled it in one reading session earlier this afternoon.

Isadore is a son of a family of Polish Jewish immigrants who left Poland (my motherland) in search of peace and survival in 1920s. He has proven to be one of the most extraordinary and innovative business people of our times.

Instead of sharing my notes on Isadore’s memoires, I’ve decided to echo his views on the goals, believes and principles of his empire.

I regularly meet with people from within and beyond the industry, and often get puzzled by the number of organizations operating without a clearly defined mission, set of goals and values. I hope some of you will find the following example useful, especially when thinking about the PURPOSE of your organization. Your views would be most welcome.


We have chosen to specialize within the hospitality industry by offering only experiences of exceptional quality. Our objective is to be recognized as the company that manages the finest hotels, resorts, and residence club wherever they are located. We create properties of enduring values using superior design and finishes, and we support them with a deeply instilled ethic of personal service. Doing so allows Four Seasons to satisfy the needs and tastes of our discriminating customers and to maintain our position as the world’s premier hospitality company.


We demonstrate our beliefs most meaningfully in the way we treat each other and by the example we set for one another. In all out interactions with our guests, customers, business associates, and colleagues, we seek to deal with others, as we would have them deal with us.


Our greatest asset, and the key to success, is our people. We believe that each of us needs a sense of dignity, pride, and satisfaction in what we do. Because satisfying our guests depends on the united efforts of many, we are most effective when we work together cooperatively, respecting each other’s contributions and importance.


We succeed when every decision is based on a clear understanding of and belief in what we do and when we couple this conviction with sound financial planning. We expect to achieve a fair and reasonable profit to ensure the prosperity of the company and to offer long-term benefits to our customers, our employees, our hotel owners, and our shareholders.


(This post was originally published on LinkedIn on 23rd August 2015)