Sunday, April 25, 2021


 Arne Sorenson, the CEO of Marriott, sadly passed away this week after bravely battling pancreatic cancer. Despite his illness, he braved Marriott through the pandemic time. I caught a glimpse of his extraordinarily authentic leadership when he released a public video for his employees.

His 5 minute speech is a case study in compassion & empathy. He presents himself as vulnerable yet fully in control of situation- a rare combination. Here are a few lessons for me, especially in dealing with warlike situations at work:

1.Despite his frail condition, he made it a point to speak with employees. Simple lesson,often forgotten: Talk to your team, they need to hear from you.

2.He called the pandemic situation (for hotel industry) worse than 9/11 & 2009 financial crisis combined. Lesson: Be transparent, don't sugarcoat the words. Delivering bad news is something a leader has to learn to do well.

3.He commits to forgo his full salary & his exec team by 50%. Gives a message that he & his immediate team are first in the line of fire before the impact reaches employees.

Of his 62 years of existence, most of us were exposed mostly to these 5 minutes but the manner in which he handled these 5 min left a treasure-trove of learnings.

My Sketchnote:

No comments: