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Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow

Chip Conley, Tony Hsieh (Foreword by)
ISBN: 978-0-7879-8861-6
288 pages
September 2007, Jossey-Bass
Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow (0787988618) cover image
After fifteen years of rising to the pinnacle of the hospitality industry, Chip Conley's company was suddenly undercapitalized and overexposed in the post-dot.com, post-9/11 economy. For relief and inspiration, Conley, the CEO and founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, turned to psychologist Abraham Maslow's iconic Hierarchy of Needs. This book explores how Conley's company "the second largest boutique hotelier in the world" overcame the storm that hit the travel industry by applying Maslow's theory to what Conley identifies as the key Relationship Truths in business with Employees, Customers and Investors.

Part memoir, part theory, and part application, the book tells of Joie de Vivre's remarkable transformation while providing real world examples from other companies and showing how readers can bring about similar changes in their work and personal lives. Conley explains how to understand the motivations of employees, customers, bosses, and investors, and use that understanding to foster better relationships and build an enduring and profitable corporate culture.

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Foreword ix

Preface to the Updated Edition xi

Preface xiii


1 Toward a Psychology of Business 3

2 Karmic Capitalism 17

3 The Relationship Truths 33


4 Creating Base Motivation 47

5 Creating Loyalty 64

6 Creating Inspiration 81


7 Creating Satisfaction 105

8 Creating Commitment 125

9 Creating Evangelists 142


10 Creating Trust 171

11 Creating Confidence 188

12 Creating Pride of Ownership 201


13 The Heart of the Matter 217

14 Creating a Self-Actualized Life 231

References 245

Acknowledgments 253

The Author 257

Index 259

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Chip Conley is the founder and CEO of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, California's largest boutique hotel company, consisting of over 40 award-winning hotels, restaurants, and spas. He is the author of The Rebel Rules and Marketing That Matters. Contact him at www.chipconley.com andwww.peak-book.com

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Despite using the word "mojo" in the subtitle and citing inspiration he received from 1960s counterculture icon Timothy Leary, this guide to better management isn't for hippies. Yes, Conley started the California boutique hotel chain Joie de Vivre Hospitality with the Phoenix Hotel, once a haven for faded rock stars. And yes, he quotes liberally from "rebel" CEOs who surf. But Conley's book is packed with thoughtful, instructional stories and advice for entrepreneurs as well as Fortune 500 managers, gleaned from his own experience as well as other business books. At the center of this confessional how-to is psychologist Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs, a pyramid that ranks human needs from base to self-actualizing. Used as the basis for employee, customer and stakeholder satisfaction, Conley contends, it can transform a business and its people. Though Stephen Covey and Peter Drucker have looked to Maslow before, Conley describes how using the pyramid saved his company from bankruptcy when the dot-com bubble burst. Conley is most successful when he expresses his ideas in numbered lists rather than the wordy passages that slow down the beginning. On the whole, though, his advice is inspiring and accessible. (Sept.) (Publishers Weekly, July 23, 2007)

"Chip Conley gives a brilliant analysis of the absolute necessity of Maslow's hierarchical paradigm in unleashing the talent and commitment of customers, employees, owners—in fact, stakeholders. Great resource material for leaders, trainers, educators, even parents. Chip practices in his hotels what he teaches—most successfully!"
—Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness

"Chip Conley presents a creative and thought-provoking new approach to running a business. He brilliantly applies Abraham Maslow's theories to management and provides insightful prescriptions that will help you gain peak performance in your company. Conley's depth and candor make this book a must-read for everyone who wants to improve their organization."
—Bill George, former CEO, Medtronic and author, Authentic Leadership and True North

"One of the best business books I've read. A unique combination of organized intelligence and creative insight. I guarantee it!"
—George Zimmer, CEO and chairman, Men's Wearhouse, Inc.

"Strategy? Got one. Tactics? Check. But there's one more key element without which you won't get anywhere: Motivation. Peak will show you how to create motivated employees, customers, and investors, and tells the story of how one spectacular entrepreneur does it by treating people right—and how they return the favor."
—Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief, Wired magazine and author, The Long Tail

"Chip Conley's book is a perfect combination: part personal story, part business theory, and part how-to instruction. Peak combines head, heart, and soul for today's aspiring business leader. Don't just read this book—do it!"
—Alan M. Webber, former editorial director, Harvard Business Review and co-founding editor, Fast Company

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