Chapter OneToward a Psychology of Business

If we want to answer the question, how tall can the human species grow, then obviously it is well to pick out the ones who are already tallest and study them. If we want to know how fast a human being can run, then it is no use to average out the speed of the population; it is far better to collect Olympic gold medal winners and see how well they can do. If we want to know the possibilities for spiritual growth, value growth, or moral development in human beings, then I maintain that we can learn by studying the most moral, ethical, or saintly people.

Abraham Maslow1


That word conjures up some nostalgic images for me: my dad who doubled as my Little League coach, a style of music I couldn't get enough of, the Shasta Orange I used to drink by the six-pack.

At the end of 2000, as we were enjoying the second millennium celebration, the word pop had a new meaning to me: it was the sound of champagne flowing, of good times continuing to roll, of prosperity anointing me with a hero's halo.

I had a lot to be thankful for. My company, Joie de Vivre Hospitality, had grown into one of the three most prominent boutique hoteliers in the United States. My first book of any note, The Rebel Rules: Daring to Be Yourself in Business, which included a foreword from my demigod, Richard Branson, was hitting the shelves. And USA Today had just profiled me as one of 14 Americans, along with Julia Roberts and Michael Eisner, to be “watched” in 2001. ...

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