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Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow Hardcover – September 21, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1st edition (September 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787988618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787988616
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Despite using the word mojo in the subtitle and citing inspiration he received from 1960s counterculture icon Timothy Leary, this guide to better management isn't for hippies. Yes, Conley started the California boutique hotel chain Joie de Vivre Hospitality with the Phoenix Hotel, once a haven for faded rock stars. And yes, he quotes liberally from rebel CEOs who surf. But Conley's book is packed with thoughtful, instructional stories and advice for entrepreneurs as well as Fortune 500 managers, gleaned from his own experience as well as other business books. At the center of this confessional how-to is psychologist Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs, a pyramid that ranks human needs from base to self-actualizing. Used as the basis for employee, customer and stakeholder satisfaction, Conley contends, it can transform a business and its people. Though Stephen Covey and Peter Drucker have looked to Maslow before, Conley describes how using the pyramid saved his company from bankruptcy when the dot-com bubble burst. Conley is most successful when he expresses his ideas in numbered lists rather than the wordy passages that slow down the beginning. On the whole, though, his advice is inspiring and accessible. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

When Hotelier Conley was profiled by USA Today as one of its People to watch in 2001, he seemingly could do no wrong. His company, Joie de Vivre Hospitality, which operates a chain of boutique hotels in the San Francisco Bay area, was riding high on the dot-com boom. But then the bubble burst, followed by 9/11 and an industry-wide crisis that hit his upscale business hard. As his world crumbled around him, Conley turned to the writings of psychologist Abraham Moslow for inspiration. In contrast to the darker premises behind Freud's psychoanalysis and B. F. Skinner's behaviorism, Maslow took a more positive approach, seeking to study the best and brightest that human nature has to offer, encouraging an environment of self-actualization that encourages peak experiences. Conley understood that personal transformation and corporate transformation are not all that different, and this story shows not only how Maslow's ideas brought about a resurrection in Conley's business but also how similar mind-sets continue to create growth and a positive work environment at companies such as Google, Netflix, Harley-Davidson, and Apple. Siegfried, David

More About the Author

At age 26, Chip Conley started out as a rebel entrepreneur, building one of America's most successful boutique hotel brands, Joie de Vivre. As the company's leader for 24 years, Chip was honored as the "Most Innovative CEO in the Bay Area" by the San Francisco Business Times in 2007 and JdV was named the "2nd Best Place to Work in the Bay Area" in 2008. He is the author of three books including the bestseller PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow, where he illustrates how he created an enlightened business model focused on his employees', customers', and investors' highest needs.

One of the world's leading practitioners of emotional intelligence in business, Chip has shared his philosophy from the main stage at TED, to the creative studios at PIXAR, to the country's top academic institutions -- challenging today's leaders to count what really matters in business and in life. No longer a Chief "Executive" Officer, Chip is now a Chief "Emotions" Officer and in his new book, EMOTIONAL EQUATIONS: Simple Truths for Creating Happiness + Success (January 2012, Free Press), he explains how being proficient in both psychology and business is the smartest means of being successful as a 21st century leader.



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Customer Reviews

Certainly a good book to read.
B. Thomas Gallagher
Chip Conley built a great company and weathered the dot.com meltdown by putting people first, both his employees and his customers.
Chris Anderson
This book is a must read for business leaders and entrepreneurs alike.
Cynthia Chiarappa

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Srikumar S. Rao VINE VOICE on September 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Chip Conley has a bold vision - he wants to use his company as an instrument to make the world a better place. Rarely have I heard a businessman state his vision so boldly and this alone deserves a cheer.

Joie de Vivre - a lot of persons will learn to pronounce this soon! - is a boutique hotel chain and each property is unique. I have stayed at two and I can testify that the servce is outstanding. If ever you find yourself in San Francisco stay at the Miyako in the heart of Japantown. The faux ricepaper screens and artwork will make you feel as if you are in Japan and the deep granite soak tub and private sauna in the suite will round out the feeling.

Chip draws heavily from the work of Abraham Maslow in running his business. Maslow, as any MBA will tell you, is the guy who came up with the notion of the "hierarchy of needs" which postulates that all humans have basic needs for things like food and shelter and, as these are satisfied, higher order needs like belonging and esteem open up. At the top is "self-actualization" which is a need to realize one's full potential. What I did not know till I read this book is that Maslow had spent a lot of time pondering the implications of his theory for business and had actually recorded his thoughts in books many of which are now out of print. I will now scour the Internet for these.

Chip's genius is that he came up with an organized and disciplined method of applying these principles to his operations. The book is basically divided into three parts - one dealing with employees, one with customers and the final one with investors. For each of these, he offers tips on how to meet their lower order needs and then lead the way to them fulfilling their higher order needs and seeing that they are doing so.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Denise Corcoran on September 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
PEAK is one of my all time favorite business books. I will never be able to do it justice in this short review. PEAK is definitely a "must read" for every executive, CEO and business owner for whom "being ordinary is not an option."

Over the past 22 years, I have worked with many successful companies and leaders. Yet from the first pages of reading this book, I knew that Joie De Vivre (JDV) and Chip Conley (the CEO and author) are a rare breed in today's business world, integrating money with meaning, doing with becoming, success with significance. Here are my reasons why I love this book.

In my experience, there are few companies that go beyond meeting the basic needs of their employees, customers and investors. Only a handful of companies committed to honoring the full hierarchy of employee, customer and investor needs as the foundation to their own profitability, success and legacy. JDV and Chip Conley clearly walk their talk in that regard and are amongst that small minority.

PEAK is multi-fasceted. I felt like I was reading 3 books in one -- a personal narrative/story, a "teaching" manual and a "how to" roadmap -- packed with wisdom, inspiration, provocative ideas and action steps. The book grabbed my attention right away as the author shared his "hero's journey." A story about how JDV, a fast rising star in the '90's, plummeted into a downward spiral with the dotcom industry crash and then hit with an additional catastrophic jolt with 9/11. Tough times like these test a true leader's courage, tenacity, values and substance ... and his/her willingness to heed "the call" to embark on the hero's journey. As the saying goes, "when the student is ready, the teacher appears.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Chris Anderson on October 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
You don't have to have an emotional bone in your body to find useful advice in this book. Chip Conley built a great company and weathered the dot.com meltdown by putting people first, both his employees and his customers. Sounds tough, especially for left-brainers, but the Maslow pyramid gives a framework that even the most rational mind can work with. Treat employees fairly, recognize their accomplishments and give them something to believe in. It's as simple as that.

Conley has good advice for pleasing customers and investors, too, but I found his technique for bringing the best out of your employees most useful. Despite the fact that most of his employees don't have college degrees and half don't speak English as their first language, he's managed to both keep them and keep them happy. Those same techniques can work for any company. The point is that people are people everywhere and Maslow brilliantly realized what motivates all of us. Conley maps this to today's business environment with great examples and explanations.

Simply put, this book will make you a better manager. Get it!
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Kaizen on October 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This isn't a horrible book. I just wish I hadn't spent money on it.

The idea behind the book is great. The book itself is just light. It reads like a book report about other people's books and ideas instead of a description of personal experience as a someone building a business. I expected much more in-the-trenches talk.

Chip writes well, I only wish he brought a more concrete philosophy to the book and backed it up with more personal anecdotes or more anecdotes from other people/companies gathered first hand. Everything is told kind of at a distance and in broad strokes. I got the feeling that Chip has read a lot of the same business books that I have over the past few years, so there didn't seem to be a lot of new ideas. The Maslow angle is what I came for but got very little of it.
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