20 Tips for Success from Kemmons Wilson

by Kirby D. Payne, CHA

An opportunity in my life which I enjoy is chairing the International Council of Hotel-Motel Management Companies. Because of it I have had an opportunity this year to help host a number of functions around the country for my competitors and peers.

This Tuesday I had dinner with Ray Schultz, President of Promus Company (Embassy Suites, Hampton Inns and Hawthorne Suites). He got into the hotel industry while working for IBM where he was responsible for getting Holiday Inns started on their first computerized reservation system. Who says there is no opportunity to move ahead in this country?

Wednesday, while visiting with George Glover, CHA, President of Wilson Hotel Management, I had the opportunity to meet briefly with Kemmons Wilson, founder of Holiday Inns. If you're in the hotel industry you know he's as big a part of our industry's history as Conrad Hilton. Mr. Wilson is an alert man in his early eighties who goes to work everyday. As we were leaving his offices, Mr. Wilson walked out to his car to get a sample restaurant chair he had in his trunk. Imagine, with his position and age still being involved to that detail. An no, he wouldn't let anyone carry the chair for him! Thank you, George, for inviting Mr. Wilson to join us.

In the reception area of The Wilson Companies there was a flier with Kemmons Wilson's Twenty Tips for Success which I picked up. When I met him I asked if I could use his tips in my column. Here they are: 

1. Work only a half a day; it makes no difference which half-it can be either the first 12 hours or the last 12 hours. 

2. Work is the master key that opens the door to all opportunities.

3. Mental attitude plays a far more important role in a person's success or failure than mental capacity. 

4. Remember that we all climb the ladder of success one step at a time.

5. There are two ways to get to the top of the oak tree. One way is to sit on a acorn and wait; the other is to climb it. 

6. Do not be afraid of taking a chance. Remember that a broken watch is exactly right at least twice every 24 hours,

7. The secret of happiness is not doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.

8. Eliminate from your vocabulary the words, "I don't think I can" and substitute "I know I can".

9. In evaluating a career, put opportunity ahead of security.

10. Remember that success requires half luck and half brains.

11. A person has to take risks to achieve.

12. People who taker pains never to do more than they get paid for, never get paid for anything more than they do.

13. No job is too hard as long as you are smart enough to find someone else to do it for you.

14. Opportunity comes often. It knocks as often as you have an ear trained to heat it, an eye trained to see it, a hand trained to grasp it, and a head trained to use it.

15. You cannot procrastinate-in two days, tomorrow will be yesterday.

16. Sell your wristwatch and buy an alarm clock.

17. A successful person realizes his personal responsibility for self-motivation. He starts himself because he possesses the key to his own ignition switch.

18. Do not worry. You can't change the past, but you sure can ruin the present by worrying aver the future. Remember that half the things we worry about never happen, and the other half are going to happen anyway. So, why worry?

19. It is not how much you have but how much you enjoy that makes happiness.

20. Believe in God and obey the Ten Commandments. 

For additional information, contact:

Kirby D. Payne at the firm

American Hospitality Management Company
1500 South Highway 100, #375, Minneapolis, MN 55416
Phone: 763-591-7640 Fax: 763-591-1593

email: kpayne@american-hospitality.com

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