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Now is the time to hire (and fire)… | The Melting Pot Newsletter | Issue #92


Change.  It’s all around us.  Everywhere you look, people are re-evaluating.  The pandemic has made us realise that nothing is certain.  It’s impossible to know what the world will look like next week, let alone next year. And this is accelerating change in many businesses.

Recessions can present as many opportunities as they do threats.  I know this for a fact because it was during the recessions of 2001 and 2009 that I scaled two businesses to £30 million turnover from zero.  In both cases, our success was down to the character of the people we hired and the culture we formed together.  These two things are inextricably linked. 

The news this week has been full of rising unemployment figures and a massive reduction of vacancies.  But that means one thing.  Talent.  Lots of talent.  And less competition for it.  For companies that are agile and responsive, this is a once in a generation opportunity for a talent upgrade.  It’s how you drive real cultural change.  Get rid of the people that are holding you back and bring in people who share your beliefs.  Then you will be ready to roar out of the recession when the time comes.

How To Build A Culture Of Excellence with Horst Schulze

While you will have heard of the Ritz Carlton hotel group, you may not necessarily know who founded it – meet Horst Schulze, the man, the myth, the legend. Horst is legendary for creating the infamous operating and service standards for which the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company are renowned. 

“I talked to an institution recently and I said, ‘Don’t you want to be the very best in the country?’ He said, ‘well that would be arrogant’. In other words, you don’t intend for your investors, for your employees to be the very best?”

Horst has been in the hotel business since he was 14 years old, cutting his teeth as a server’s assistant in a German resort town. He ‘worked to work’ before realising one day that he’d been approaching work wrong. An inspirational maître d’hôtel had taught him early on to ‘work to create excellence’, and he hadn’t been doing that. “I didn’t go to work to create excellence, which you taught me. I apologise, it will never happen again. And what a silly thing to waste your time to just fulfil a function, like a chair.”

That was the turning point for him. From there his career accelerated and exploded. After leaving The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, Horst went on to found Capella Hotel Group. Again, you may not know who they are, but you’ll remember when President Donald Trump met with North Korea’s Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un – that meeting took place in the Capella Hotel in Singapore. 

“Excellence is never an accident. It’s always the result of high intentions. Vision and high intention and hard work. Yeah, that is culture. High intention, hard work.”

Recommended Podcasts


Join neuroscientist, philosopher, and best-selling author Sam Harris as he explores important and controversial questions about the human mind, society, and current events.

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Research shows us that even in normal times, constant exposure to negative news can have a heavy impact on our mental health. In the midst of an unprecedented health and humanitarian crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, people are not only faced with new challenges in their work and personal lives but also subjected to a constant barrage of troubling headlines.


One of our fundamental beliefs is that teams are the instruments of change in an organisation. Companies are comprised of big and small teams. However, in today’s COVID-19 world, flexible team sizes are a must. Small teams are how companies will be able to climb the resilience curve. 


Millions of people face abusive supervisors and bullies at work. These employees are targets of ridicule, threats, or demeaning comments by their manager on a daily basis, which results in decreased satisfaction, productivity, and commitment to the job as well as the organization at large.

Recommended Reads

F**k Plan B by Dominic Monkhouse

Calling all CEOs, Founders and Managing Partners! Learn valuable scale-up strategies in a brand new book by the UK’s top tech industry business coach, Dominic Monkhouse. Dom has a track record of scaling-up award-winning technology businesses, including two UK based companies from zero revenue to £30 million within five years. Now he is sharing the secrets behind his success in a new book, FREE to all Melting Pot subscribers. The download will be available very soon.  Watch out for your copy! 


Trying to find the one right move that will improve your business’s performance can feel overwhelming. But, as you’ll discover in Growth IQ, there are just ten simple – but easily misunderstood – paths to growth, and every successful growth strategy can be boiled down to picking the right combination and sequence of these paths for your current context. Tiffani Bova travels around the world helping companies solve their most vexing problem: how to keep growing in the face of stiff competition and a fast-changing business environment. Whether she’s presenting to a Fortune 500 board of directors or brainstorming over coffee with a startup founder, Bova cuts through the clutter and confusion that surround growth.


One of my clients put up a job ad for a salesperson last year and it got zero response.  They ran the same ad last week and got 130 good CVs.  Now is the time to recruit!  If you know you don’t have enough A-Players, take some brave decisions and see whether the market’s offering you a talent upgrade. Use Recruitment Revolution to run an ad for you. They’ll sift CVs and match your job scorecard. What have you got to lose? 

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