BETHESDA, MARYLAND As president and managing director of international lodging at Marriott International, Ed Fuller has spent a significant part of his life flying in and out of the scores of countries where Marriott conducts business. His 10 million-plus miles taught him a lot about the value of getting out from behind his desk and building relationships that span cultural differences.
In “You Can’t Lead With Your Feet on the Desk,” Fuller explains how he and his small team of “pioneers” helped build Marriott’s global arm into one of the world’s largest international hotel chains and provides real-world advice on how to connect, manage and do business with people in any culture.
“The world belongs to passionate leaders—people with enormous amounts of energy who can energize and motivate those whom they lead,” Fuller says. “I hope that by sharing my business experiences and cultural insights from around the world, I can help others develop the intellectual savvy to be truly global and help whatever enterprise they lead—big or small—be successful.”
Using an array of colorful anecdotes experienced over his nearly 40 years history at Marriott—and earlier as a captain in the U.S. Army—to illustrate his message, Fuller explains how to navigate cultural nuances and language differences, unfamiliar geography and frustrating local bureaucracy. He shows how building trust, shared values and commitment to a true business partnership can help break down barriers and deliver profits. He demonstrates how personal relationships are the real currency of every culture and the bedrock of success in any enterprise.
In his book, he urges readers to build relationships through mutual respect, to earn trust quickly by delivering during a crisis, to lead from the front and be willing to give oneself the tough jobs, to learn local customs as a way to create relationships, and he explains how verbal and nonverbal cues can make or break a deal
Fuller joined Marriott in 1972 as a management trainee and has held numerous positions of increasing marketing, sales and operational responsibility. Fuller’s team grew Marriott’s overseas business from 16 hotels in six countries, grossing US$325 million, to nearly 400 properties across 70 countries with revenues of approximately US$7 billion.
“You Can’t Lead With Your Feet on the Desk” is available everywhere books are sold. Published by John Wiley & Sons, the book is priced hardcover at US$29.95.