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Leading the Marriott Way

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This case is inspired by the career experiences of Craig Smith, Group President and Managing Director, International Division, Marriott International. In this role, Craig oversees the international operations of one of the world’s leading and largest hospitality companies. He is responsible for Marriott’s operations outside of North America.

Craig started his career at Marriott and has been with the organization for over three decades. He started his career in housekeeping and then progressively assumed roles with greater responsibility including senior roles across Asia and Latin America.

The case is based on a series of interviews conducted with Craig. The interviews identified a series of experiences that shaped Craig’s leadership journey, including leading a team during the midst of a catastrophic crisis. The case is organized around these pivotal experiences and through these stories students gain an insightful and personal perspective on aspects of leadership, specifically authentic leadership and servant leadership. Additionally, the case can also be used to explore the importance of inculcating a strategic perspective in planning and developing one’s career. Craig’s richness of experience contributes to a case that is suitable and interesting for a wide range of participants, including undergraduate, MBA, and executive level students.   


Learning Objective:

The case has multiple learning objectives broadly focused on aspects of leadership and strategic career planning.

  1. The case highlights examples of authentic leadership and servant leadership. Through the case, students can explore principles of these leadership styles and reflect on how they might develop such leadership traits as part of their respective leadership journeys.
  2. Leading during crisis is also an important element of the case. The protagonist has held leadership roles during natural disasters, global pandemics, and terrorist attacks. Students will gain greater appreciation and insight on how to lead through crisis and the critical role leaders play during crisis.
  3. The case serves as a resource to examine and highlight the importance of exercising a strategic perspective in one’s career development and planning. Students will learn how strategic career planning and development was effectively applied in the life of a senior business leader. Equipped with such principles, students will be better prepared to apply strategic career planning in their lives. 

Year of Publication: 2021
Ref. No.: 21/701C
Discipline: Organizational Behavior and Leadership, Social Enterprises & Ethics
Industry: Hotels, Restaurants, Leisure
Country: United States of America
Languages: English
Pages of Text: 7