CNLP 449: Horst Schulze on What Gives Young Leaders a Competitive Edge, Why Personal is the Future, and Why Individualized Service Reaches Millennials

Horst Schulze, founder of The Ritz-Carlton and Capella Hotel Group, talks about what he learned as a young leader that gave him the edge that defined his future career. He also explains why service still matters, how hotels can compete against Airbnb, and why Millennials want personalized, customized service.

Welcome to Episode 449 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Guest Links


Episode Links

World Vision

The deepest truths about living like Jesus often come from leaders who are suffering, persecuted, and living in a hostile environment.

And through the beatitudes in Matthew 5, we know that people in difficult circumstances like these are often the closest to living like Jesus did.

World Vision invites you to listen to voices of leaders from around the world! Leaders who have used their suffering and persecution to build and strengthen their faith.

Join Danielle Strickland and World Vision for a NEW series called “Right Side Up Soul Care.”

In this FREE web series, Danielle and leaders in the global Church will share how they have learned to practice their faith and feed their soul through difficult circumstances.

The Church is a force for good in the world and World Vision’s heart is for the Bride of Christ to be healthy and mobilized to be the church outside the four walls!

Sign up today at

Remodel Health

Do you remember how retirement benefits changed back in the 1980s? When pension plans were dropped, and instead, 401(k) plans became all the rage? And it made sense, since 401(k)s helped employees get better benefits while employers ended up saving a ton of money!

Did you know the same change has happened with health benefits over the past decade? Something called “managed individual” is replacing old group plans just like 401(k)s replaced pension plans. It’s simple: employers give the money, and employees pick their plans.

Our podcast listeners have already saved $2.5 million in just the past 18 months making this switch and their teams have gotten better coverage as a result! How incredible is that? This wouldn’t be possible without my trusted partners over at Remodel Health.

They’ve been serving Christian organizations since 2016 and have a streamlined process to help you see what this “401(k) of health benefits” could actually look like for your team. Their risk-free Health Benefits Analysis lets you get a full preview of what the change would look like for your team. It normally costs $35 per employee, but they’re letting me give my listeners a 50% discount this month in September!

Simply go to and at checkout, use promo code CAREY50.

Conversation Links

Excellence Wins by Horst Schulze

The Ritz-Carlton

Capella Hotels and Resorts


CNLP 263: Horst Schulze with Lessons From the Ritz-Carlton on Coaching the Best From a Team When You Can’t Pay Top Wages, What Guests Really Want, How to Satisfy a Customer and What To Do With Customer Complaints

At Your Best by Carey Nieuwhof

Get Carey’s Content Straight to Your Inbox

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Insights From Horst

1. You can turn an unhappy customer into an ambassador

There are few things worse than an unhappy customer, client or parishioner. And that’s especially true in light of today’s public social platforms where your reputation can be ruined by one negative review.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can take responsibility for a customer’s unpleasant experience and turn the situation around. Horst shares five simple steps for turning an unhappy customer into an ambassador:

  1. Attentively listen to complaints
  2. Show empathy
  3. Apologize by saying, “Forgive me”
  4. Make amends
  5. Delight them

2. Show Millennials they’re part of a purpose

When Horst interviews people for a new job, he asks, “Do you have purpose and vision in life, or are you just living along?” He does this because he believes that if someone has purpose and vision, then he can invite them to participate in his purpose and his organization’s purpose.

He finds this challenging with Millennials in the workforce because oftentimes their work attitude can be, “What’s in it for me?” To resolve this, Horst says to connect them to the purpose and motive of the organization, and that will make it very clear to them what’s in it for them.

3. 4 things a great organization does to keep customers

As founder of The Ritz-Carlton, Horst Schulze knows a thing or two about keeping customers. So, what’s his philosophy? He follows these four steps:

  1. Never lose a customer—be sure your customer goes out and recommends you and wants to come back
  2. Find new customers
  3. Get as much money as you can from your customer, because they trust you
  4. Work efficiently—not cheap, efficiently

You want your customers to leave and recommend you to others.

Quotes from Episode 449

Elegance without warmth is arrogance. - Horst Schulze Click To Tweet Excellence is never an accident. It's always the result of high intent and hard work. - Horst Schulze Click To Tweet Nothing is worthwhile unless it has purpose. - Horst Schulze Click To Tweet Move heaven and Earth to keep the customer. - Horst Schulze Click To Tweet Leadership starts with leading yourself. - Horst Schulze Click To Tweet You're very much defined by the image of your organization, so help make it a good image. - Horst Schulze Click To Tweet I'm responsible for my work environment. I can create it. - Horst Schulze Click To Tweet Human beings should be going to work to create excellence and be part of a purpose, and the purpose should be the driver of everything. - Horst Schulze Click To Tweet One of the honors of being a leader is that you can positively impact the life of others. - Horst Schulze Click To Tweet Someone actually apologizing for their mistakes is just so rare these days. Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 449

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

Watch Back Episodes of The Podcast on YouTube

Select episodes of this podcast are now on YouTube. Our YouTube Channel gives you a chance to watch some episodes, not just listen.


Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Adam Grant, Seth Godin, Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Nancy Duarte, Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni, Francis Chan, Ann Voskamp, Erwin McManus, and many others.

Subscribe using your favorite podcast app via

Apple Podcasts


Google Podcasts



Spread the Word. Leave a Rating and Review

Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Jacqueline Novogratz

Acumen founder, Jacqueline Novogratz, has been voted one of the 100 Greatest Living Business Minds by Forbes. She explains why money can’t solve poverty, why empathy isn’t enough, and how philanthropy, entrepreneurship and governments can combine to truly make an impact.

We also explore how listening and lean data can help you have a greater impact, and what young leaders can do if they really want to change the world. Her work has impacted hundreds of millions of people around the world.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 450.

CNLP 449: Horst Schulze on What Gives Young Leaders a Competitive Edge, Why Personal is the Future, and Why Individualized Service Reaches Millennials

1 Comment

  1. nicolae butoiu on October 12, 2021 at 7:45 am

    Dear Carey thank you very much indeed for your posts. They became landmarks for many of us! May the blessing of God be always over you and your ministry!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.