Summary of the keynote at the 2017 Stay Boutique Leadership Conference with
Bill Walshe, CEO Viceroy Group
As the self-described Chief Pride Officer of Viceroy Group, Bill Walshe inspired and captivated the Stay Boutique audience with his charisma, wit, and passion for instilling a sense of pride in all who desire to make their mark in the boutique hotel industry. After many years in the hospitality industry, Bill realized that having the title of ‘CEO’ doesn’t really mean much if you don’t have real pride in what you’re doing. A title is about status, while pride is about one’s purpose.
Bill reminded everyone that, “We are hosts first and always.” When we take pride in our product it will lead us to our purpose. His coined term, Prideology, describes a pride ideology whereby we exhibit pride through purpose rather than profit. That’s what differentiates the boutique industry from the big guy hotels. “Business ideology has to be about purpose,” Bill says, “and Prideology is the definition of the Viceroy Hotel Group.” Those in the boutique hotel industry should not imagine that the surroundings will wow our customers, it’s service that wows them.
Not only is pride a personal commitment to serve your guests, but it is also the driving force that brings them back to stay again and again. They become an advocate for your brand and want to tell others about your hotel; communicating their pride in associating with your brand. In the boutique hotel business, it’s important to remember that pride is an attitude which separates excellence from mediocrity. “Fine is vulgar!” Bill says. “Proud people will not accept fine. Join me on the campaign to ban the F-word (fine)!”