Introduction

“Well, kid, welcome to the club. You are now dinner conversation.”

These words, said to me when I was promoted to my first management role at Marriott International, rang in my ears. I was an excited twenty-two-year-old former floor mopper who would now be a shift manager, with several dozen people working for me.

Actually, I was terrified.

I couldn’t get my mind off the idea that I would be dinner conversation. What would the people I managed say about me? What should I say to them? How would I get them to do as I asked? They all had far more experience doing their jobs, and the large majority were far older than I—some were even old enough to be my parents. Surely they would see that I didn’t have a clue what to do.

Years later, ...

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