Four Seasons : The Story of a Business Philosophy

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-04-30
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover
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The founder of Four Seasons Hotels shares the philosophy and values that have made his legendary brand How did a child of immigrants, starting with no background in the hotel business, create the world's most admired and successful hotel chain? And how has Four Seasons grown dramatically, over nearly a half century, without losing its focus on exceptional quality and unparalleled service? Isadore Sharp answers these questions in his engaging memoir, which doubles as a powerful guide for leaders in any field. He recalls the surprising history of his company, starting with its roots in his father's small construction business, which Sharp joined after getting a degree in architecture. Shifting into hotels wasn't easy, and he learned by trial and error. His breakthrough was a vision for a new kind of hotel, featuring superior design, top-quality amenities, and, above all, a deep commitment to service. Sharp realized that customers would gladly pay extra for a "home away from home" experience. But that would be possible only if everyone-from managers and supervisors to bellmen, servers, and housekeepers-was fully engaged. The front-line staff, who have the most contact with guests, can make or break a five-star reputation. Readers will be fascinated to learn how Four Seasons does it, year after year, in more than thirty countries around the world.

Author Biography

Isadore Sharp is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels, Inc. He opened the first Four Seasons in Toronto in 1961, and the company now operates seventy-eight luxury hotels and resorts around the world, with more than twenty-five additional properties under development. He and his wife are prominent philanthropists.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xi
Introductionp. xv
The Immigrant's Son
Lil and Maxp. 3
Max Sharp & Sonp. 15
Rosaliep. 21
A New Kind of Projectp. 29
Starting At the Top
Murray, Eddie, and Issyp. 43
Londonp. 53
ITT Sheratonp. 65
Community and Culture
Chris Sharp and Terry Foxp. 75
A New Business Modelp. 83
Building Our Culturep. 91
Selling Our Culturep. 98
The Golden Rulep. 103
A Competitive Edgep. 109
A Fresh Approach
Washingtonp. 117
The Pierrep. 125
Bumps in the Roadp. 130
Partnersp. 135
Amenitiesp. 141
The Early Leadersp. 147
Family Developmentsp. 157
World Wide Excellence
Hawaiip. 167
Japanp. 170
The Caribbeanp. 177
Europep. 187
More Bumps in the Roadp. 193
Regentp. 197
Prince Alwaleedp. 209
A Few Bad Applesp. 217
In a League of Our Own
A Great Place to Workp. 227
Meeting Expectationsp. 231
The Front Linesp. 235
Marketing Our Brandp. 239
Continuing Growthp. 245
Staying Ahead
Creative Crisis Managementp. 253
Our True Competitive Advantagep. 258
The Best of the Bestp. 265
The New Leadersp. 268
Three Partners, Four Seasonsp. 275
Afterwordp. 281
Acknowledgmentsp. 283
Our Goals, Our Beliefs, Our Principlesp. 284
Senior Staff Tenure by Positionp. 285
Indexp. 293
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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