Early 2020, as the Pandemic struck, the hospitality industry was hit most significantly.

Overnight travel stopped, hotels were shut, restaurants closed.

It was in this background – Anne Sorenson, CEO of Marriot Hotels had to make an announcement.

“There’s simply nothing worse than telling highly valued associates- people who are the very heart of this company- that their roles are being impacted by events completely outside of their control. I’ve never been more determined to see us through then I am at this moment.”

And as his voice choked, he continued

“While it’s impossible to know how long this crisis will last, I know we, as a global community, will come through the other side. And when we do our guests will be eager to travel this beautiful world again. When that great day comes, we will be there to welcome them with the warmth and care we are known for the world over…Together we can and we will overcome this and we’ll thrive once again.”

Sorenson had just come out of cancer treatment, and you could really feel his words. His voice touched many & set a benchmark for communication as a calm leader.

Arne passed away in Feb 2021.

Link to his speech –

In my upcoming e-book – “Keep Calm and Lead On“, I look at some behaviours and techniques used by great leaders who keep their calm and carry on. Leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Ekkapol Chantawong – the Thai teacher who kept the kids trapped in a cave motivated for days, and leaders like Jacinda Ardern, who kept calm and lead on even during the most horrendous terrorist attacks.

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