Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow
by Chip Conley
This book may be the best of all in describing the CEO’s overall view. It provides a useful and clear framework for how a CEO can add value to customers, employees, and owners. The book is not very well known, but is much more useful to entrepreneurs than many of the better known best sellers.
Author Chip Conley is the founder and former CEO of one of the world’s largest boutique hotel companies. At a time when his company was in dire need, he turned to psychologist Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which states that needs lower down in the hierarchy must be satisfied before individuals can attend to needs higher up. From the bottom of the hierarchy upwards, the needs are: physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualisation.
Years later, when the young founders of Airbnb asked Conley to help turn their start-up home-sharing company into a world-class hospitality giant, Conley once again used the principles he’d developed.
The author’s foundational premise is that great leaders become amateur psychologists by understanding the unique needs of three key relationships – with employees, customers, and investors.