Reward What We Want to Restore.

January 22, 2021

Reward What We Want to Restore.

May 29, 2023

Much like today, eighteen years ago, San Francisco was in a world of hurt. The combination of the dot-com bust, 9/11, and a recession meant “The City” was having a crisis of confidence. Nowhere was that more evident than in the hotel industry which was preparing for a battle royale with the local hotel union as it was time to negotiate a new contract while we were at the bottom of a ditch.

90% of the conversations I had with fellow hoteliers back then were full of doom and gloom and expletives relating to the President of the local union, Mike Casey, who was just doing his best to represent his members’ needs. But, Mike was also bad-mouthing hotel owners to his members, our employees, as a way to prepare for a citywide hotel strike. It felt like we’d forgotten why we all got into this business in the first place and we’d lost sight of just how heroic our employees were in supporting our guests.

Down to my toes, I believed we needed to reward what we want to restore: recognizing our line-level hotel workers who bring smiles to our guests’ faces every day. So, I decided to bankroll San Francisco’s first Hotel Hero Awards, invited the union to be part of this celebration, and our hotel owners and managers to nominate their room cleaners, bellmen, servers, night auditors, and maintenance staff who do work beyond the call of duty. Seventeen years later, this annual event happened again last month, in an exclusively digital form for the first time given the pandemic. But, there were still very few dry eyes amongst the nominees, the award winners, and their families who cheered them on.

We’re in a similarly toxic time in Washington, DC these days. It seems that what is rewarded is headline-grabbing, finger-pointing and divisive name calling. It’s time to restore respect and civility to our political system.

Why not create an annual list of the ten most respected Senators and Congresspeople as well as the ten least respected? The votes would anonymously come from the 535 members of Congress themselves or maybe their staffs (as there are already public votes on this but they are just a popularity contest). And, if you’re a Republican, you’d be required to offer at least two Democrats on your list of ten. And, vice versa. So, that way there would be an award for the most and least respected Senator or Member of the House from those on the other side of the aisle.

I hope there’s an Editor of a national magazine reading this right now as the Fortune 500 is based upon corporate size and Forbes 400 is based upon family wealth. Maybe Newsweek or Time could have their ten most respected national legislations profiled each year? Let’s reward what we want to restore.

What do you think? What award would you create in order to make the world a better place?

Here’s a video with some of my random thoughts on awards relating to happiness, joy, and peace (coming from a deserted beach near MEA where wild horses tend to roam).

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