April 19, 2015


Family portrait 1970
New Year's Day, brother Dick and our families with our parents

Family has always been number one in my life. As a father, I made it a point to be home for dinner every night I was in town. Over my career, I arrived at the office at 8:00 a.m. and I was home for dinner at 6:15 p.m. SHARP!

While I traveled a lot during my career, family time over evening meals was a top priority, not to mention an extremely gratifying source of daily fun and support.

Dinner in our home was high-spirited, full of love and laughter. Away from home, I may have been C-E-O, but during precious meal time, I was D-A-D.

When I would get home at night, a beautiful meal would be waiting. The kids would be scrambling around the house trying to do their homework and getting ready for dinner. They always told me about their day -- the teacher they liked the least, the most difficult problem at school, and their favorite friends. It was a wonderful sharing time to get to know the kids. We always had an opening prayer and a blessing on the food, and we had a lot of fun talking about the day and the days ahead.  And, of course, I always did the dishes. Every now and then I'd get my kids to help me. But the dishes were my job.  (Aprons became a favorite gag gift.)

Some say it is really tough to focus on family in today's working world.  I disagree.  It's your decision to make, but I can tell you it's worth keeping family the #1 priority. 

In my Marriott Marquis Washington DC hotel opening speech, I introduced my son David this way: "David runs over one thousand hotels up and down the east coast when he's not raising his three sons and daughter."  Family over work.  It's how our family business has grown, how we keep our associates and why Marriott is recognized as “One of The Best Places to Work.”  Putting family first is good for business.  In fact, if business comes first, you won't be happy for very long.

Let me know how you strike a balance between work and family.  I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

Listen to the Family First blog

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I totally agree, Family should be number 1 and comes first before business because putting family in a top priority will definitely give priority to business than other things which may not be useful. Considering that business includes self-development & wellbeing. That will lead us again to the family priority so it is a cycle, nonstop.

Thank you Mr. Marriott for sharing us these valuable stories

This article was very timely as my children enjoyed their favorite breakfast this morning of juice, fruit and egg/bacon sandwiches. I wake by 4:30 every morning and my usual routine is to get up, clean up anything left behind from the evening, put on a pot of coffee and start my work day (fortunate to have a home based office). I then wake my three children at 7am for breakfast before catching their bus at 8am. I cherish this one hour together while they are eating a good breakfast and chatting in the morning about thier upcoming day. Because many are out and about during dinner time these days (and we sit as a family most every evening for dinner) there is usually one misisng from the dinner table due to dance, play practise, tennis, sports etc. I keep this morning ritual to give them time and attention together with a breakfast that I have prepared for them and start their day off right. I know that they will remember this time when they are older and appreciate our morning time together! This will be our last year all togeher in the morning as my oldest will now leave earlier in the morning for high school. I will need to find a new way to give them this special family time without them evening knowing it!!

Mr. Marriott, I agree with you totally. My 28-year career with Marriott and your philosophy has guided me through - Family over Business. I come to work at 8:00 a.m., and like you, I'm home by 6:15 p.m. daily. Will rush home to cook dinner for my late husband (he passed away a year ago) and my two kids. Those were special times...

Mr. Marriott,
Your family first article really touched my heart because those are my sentiments exactly. I love working for Marriott and I love my job mainly because of your core values for the entire Marriott chain. I keep your 12 Rules of Success posted over my computer, I reflect on them daily and apply them. I give my all and my best in my position and assist in other areas of the hotel when the opportunity presents itself. Like you, family is first and i make it a priority to arrive home before my husband to do my chores and have his dinner ready.

Putting family first is one of the reasons that attracted me to working for Marriott. Since my children were born, I've always strived to put family first, and feel confident that working here I can accomplish that goal.

Thank you Mr. Marriott for setting such a positive example for us. If someone as busy and important as you can put family first, so can we.

It takes great character to encourage your workforce to make family #1. Thank you for building such a wonderful company.

Where I belong…!!!

"Take care of associates and they will take care of the customers."

A firm belief with the continuous in exhaustive practice of our founder (Mr. John Willard Marriott) is the foundation of every fortress under Marriott International.

An entity who earned respect & love form everyone around through a goal which serves as the heart & pumps success to every Marriott brand i.e. good food and good service at a fair price.

Taking pride in its people, intense care to every detail, comprehending each cue, staying influential with acceptance, empowering eternally, guiding immensely & putting people first are some of the few keystones of Marriott which brightens its gleam with a never-ending flow....

Being in Marriott is being you…!!!

Each brick of every wall encircling you nurtures you, augments the art in you & empowers you with self-determination… The core values imbibe an identity within that leads all humans to be impeccably creative…

We at Marriott sow confidence in what we do & aspire to become….

A magnanimous mentor (our Marriott) reaching out to each soul blesses it with divinity of care, compassion of love & devotion to perfection…

Commitment to perfection, adherence to embracing people & flowering everlasting smiles shower Marriott with a sense of belonging…. Loyalty comes from within when you are at Marriott….!!!

Marriott…a name to identify you, a place to accept you, a serene fortress to acknowledge you exist & an impartial perfectly crafted aura to give you wings in the form of opportunities to blossom….

Hospitality is not just a mere word when one is in Marriott but it’s a way every individual lives & comprehends everyone…

You ought to forget the world outside when you are inside a Marriott brand….coz it’s not just a hotel, it’s the place Where you belong……..

Thank you for making me realizing where I belong & enriching me with all the grandeur you have….

Stay blessed & keep showering smiles all over the globe…..

We as humans need you to realize & appreciate the power of people & the importance of being together……

All the good luck from me, Radhika Sharma, a proud & honored Marriott Employee……!!!

I too balance family and work. I always say life is short.
You only get one shot at it and you have to do the best and believe in Jesus Christ as your savior. I do love my job and Marriott as I have been here 22 years now at the age of 69 next week. I wish i would have found Marriott sooner

I also wish Mr. Marriott would one more time come to Omaha NE to see how the building has changed. I met him once and he is down to earth and a regular guy.

If he comes to Omaha, I want to again shake his hand Great Job!

Truly inspiring message form Mr. Bill Marriott...... I love reading his blog all the time...

Oyie Mampusti
JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai

It was such a nice message from you in such simple words. I too believe in this.I feel more proud of being part of Marriott with each blog I read by you.


Dear Mr. Marriott,

Just wanted to share how lucky I was to be able to work and raise my son. I was hired for the night shift and was a little hesitant at first. But then I realized I could have the best of both worlds. I was able to attend all school functions, take care of him when the school called and said he was sick, and be classroom mom for 9yrs. Spend summer vacations and those days when school was closed with him because of my convenient work schedule. I'm most grateful to Marriott for the 23 yrs. as an associate and proud mom and wife. Thanks to the Newark Airport Marriott.



Uncle Bill:

The dinner table is key. With 4 children who are always involved in a wide range of school and community activities, it's very difficult to get our family in one place at the same time. Our family has made an agreement that Sunday is the best time for all of us to enjoy a home cooked meal that everyone helps to prepare. When we sit to eat, each of us share our experiences from the past week and prepare for the upcoming.

In Irvine I have the flexibility of working a split shift when needed. This affords me time to stop in on my daughters basketball game, a show choir performance or be present for a special award like student of the month. Of course this is also made possible by my amazing Marriott family!

This sounds really wonderful. However, since I work as well as my husband to support the family - I rarely bring mysef to make dinner after work, I'm just too tired. While I think this "family first" is a great idea and I'm glad you had the experiences you did, I have been unable to do so in a two-income family. And, today's economy makes it extremely difficult if not impossible to make it on one income. I will say this however, as much as I would love to have more family time, I think my husband and I do a stellar job with the kids as time permits. Such a life is a blessing.

In these days i have noticed it has become a bit harder to place family first while striving to make yourself noticed in a company with so much talent, now a days workday hours are long and the week goes by to quick, eventualy with chores to perform and other things time management sometimes seems thing of the past, but when i am together with my two kids nothing else matters.

That is a nice story. More families need quality time like that. Turn everything off and just be together and share some laughs.

It seems, without knowing it, that I run the same "routine". Always have thought Family come first, and since married, I have been to every doctor's appointment since my 11 years old daughter was conceived, every school PTA meeting, and preparing the meals sometimes for them, and of course, my responsibility, dishes at the end. Our dinner time is sacred and my 2 kids and wife refuse to eat without me. We also laugh, share and plan together over dinner.
All of this is only possible with the family oriented mentality of the great Marriott Management team!

hi bill,
thanks for a a great reminder. in the times we live in, its very easy to forget that the main thing in life is our families not the process of providing for them and in the process forgetting to give them the most valuble thing 'our TIME'.
best wishes.

Beautiful and happy family,may the lord bless you.

Dear Mr Marriott

What a wonderful example for others! My mom always used to say that you need to work really hard to achieve your goals, however you must always remember that you work will not keep you warm at night. You need to remember to cherish and spend time with your family and friends. Their affection is not a given, but a result of building those relationships.

Kind regards
Lizanne Morris

It's very difficult with both parents working to coordinate demanding schedules, but I admire you for making it your #1 priority. It's my #1 priority, too, but I need constant reminders. You'll like the questions we ask both kids at dinner: "What's the best part of your day?" and: "What't the not so best part of your day?" It's amazing what you find out from tight-lipped kids when you ask those questions. Thanks for keeping it all in perspective. - Bonnie