Cindy Novotny

Be the BEST!

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For 13 years we were proud to be the outsourced training company that ran the Ritz-Carlton Learning Institute under Horst Schulze.  It was a fantastic time of being part of the exceptional team that won 2 Malcolm Baldrige Awards. 

We traveled the globe sharing our best practices with corporations from every market segment.  The valuable lessons we had learned and we are now teaching, still resonate today.  We are proud to still benchmark the original architects of service excellence. 

One of the best lessons in learning to become the best is to be proud to start off on the bottom rung.  Today, too many young, aggressive people get out of university and within 1 year feel they should be running the show.  I simply don’t get it.  What happened to the mentality of apprenticeship? 

What happened to learning from a mentor?  How do you become a strategic thinker or a creative director without paying the dues to learn the job through your successes and failures?

As a young manager myself, I would watch my more senior leaders very carefully.  I would emulate them in every way I could.  Because of trying to be the best, I received accolades and promotions faster than my peers.  I would sometimes be accused of ‘brown nosing’ the boss so I could get ahead.  I could have cared less what they all said, because today the proof is in my success.

I worked hard and paid attention.  I never compromised.  I made my sales calls, input my data, closed the business and worked the room every chance I got.  I wanted to be the best and I knew there were no shortcuts.

My drive to be the best began when I was young.  My dad never let me say ‘average.’  I could not be satisfied with average grades or doing an average job whether I liked the job or not.  My parents both pushed us as kids to do it right the first time.  My parents’ standards were high and I thank them every morning I get up to go to work, and do it right – so I can be the best!

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