Success Is Never Final

June 17, 2014


J. Willard Marriott, Sr. and J.W. Marriott, Jr. in 1972.
My dad and I together in 1972.

When my father was alive, we would often discuss the progress the company was achieving.  With each great success, he would tell me to stop patting myself on the back and would remind me of one of his favorite sayings, “Success is never final.”  (I think he read this in a book by Winston Churchill.)  From then on, I realized there are still great hills to climb, new markets to conquer and more guests to satisfy.

I enjoyed watching Bubba Watson in the recent Masters golf tournament. He won by 3 strokes which is huge against all those other outstanding players.  As the commentators were talking about Bubba, they said he came in 50th place last year having won it the year before in 2012.  A 2013 sports page headline read, “Bubba Watson takes 10 on Number 12 after hitting 3 balls into Rae’s Creek.”  It seems that for Bubba, success was never final.  Perhaps his victory in 2012 made him pretty sure he would do well in ’13 -- but that was not to be.  However, he didn’t give up or let up, but came charging back to win the Masters for the second time in three years.  He learned "the hard way" that success is never final.  Maybe the second Masters victory was even sweeter than the first. 

So no matter how satisfied we may be with our success, we must keep moving ahead.  And like Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill, we should never rest on our laurels, but continue to race to the top, realizing it is a race that we can never stop running.

I'm Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

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This is so motivating because it is a reminder that we must keep pushing to the top in order to feel accomplished and do good in the world. As usual this blog was a pleasure to read. Thank you, Bill Marriott.

A great thought-provoking and inspiring blog post. Thanks!

Dear Bill - I had the pleasure of meeting your Dad years ago when I worked at HQ as assistant to President Tom Petika of the Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour division. I brought my mother with me to a holiday party and we enjoyed hearing your dad's story of how he grew the company from the ground up! We were so impressed, and enjoyed speaking with your lovely mother as well. I moved with Farrells to San Francisco in 1982, I'm still here and friends with Tom Petika - however I am returning next week and will be visiting HQ. After 30 years, I always tell people Marriot is the best corporation in the world to work for - sometimes I wished I'd never left! Thanks to you and your family for being such a blessing to so many around the world - Tina Blackler Rhoades.

Thanks again for yet another Inspiring Story Mr. Marriott.


Lead Navigator @ Polat Renaissancer Istanbul Hotel
Jerry Karoğlu

Mr. Marriott,
I am an employee of Marriott, and am truly proud of the leadership in this company. When applying for jobs after receving my degree, I discovered Marriott was hiring and knew right away I was interested just based on the strong LDS culture your family has fostered. And, I love to read your articles. They are truly inspiring words, that we as employees and citizens as a nation desperately need. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to compose these articles and updates.

So true. In life I've come to realize the same thing. Success is not final. A quote that always sticks with me in reminder of this very truth is
"The ceilings we reach for, eventually becomes our floor and we find ourselves reaching for new heights"

I cant remember where I got that from but it has certainly been true in my life. Thanks Mr. Marriott for this interactive blog as it is a pleasure.

Congratulations to Donna and Bill Mariott on their upcoming 59th
Wedding Anniversary.
Your Father really started something when he came east with sheep. (22,000?)
Again, CONGRATULIONS!! - Sincerely, Stephen L. Lawrence

Dear Mr. Marriott:

As a long time, loyal customer to the Marriott system, my wife and I appreciate the attention to detail and the care provided to customers like us, whether its in the time share weeks and points we have or in the hotels we enjoy visiting.

We are also soon-to-be Tesla owners. I'm understandably nervous about traveling long distances without the infrastructure in place and notice that several of the super charging stations are connected to Marriott hotels. I applaud you for helping all of us committed to cleaning up the planet by reducing our carbon footprint and respectfully ask for Marriott to continue to support me and my wife as we travel to the variety of hotels and timeshares we go to each year.


John Collins

Thanks Mr. Bill.

thanks for teach us i am work with marriott compony and read every day ur inspiring word and even including my life in daily basses.

Thank you so much Sir for your inspiring words. This is the first thing I read this morning, and it has made my day!
Thanks for reminding us to keep racing and not just moving.

What an endearing and inspiring article. Thank you Bill

Words well spoken, Learning is ongoing as long as the sources are avalible .
Thanks again for the insight.

Thank you so much Sir for your inspiring words. This is the first thing I read this morning, and it has made my day!
Thanks for reminding us to keep racing and not just moving.


This blog resonates with me powerfully. I find myself thinking of the parallel reality to success is never final which is that we should never stop being open to learning. I believe these two truths are inextricably linked. There are so many peaks and valleys in this incredibly ephemeral life we get to live but it is in the effort to learn more about ourselves, by reflecting on the choices we have made and by using our past as a stepping stone for growth that we can continue to have success in our lives. I imagine Bubba Watson must have been stunned to have gone from winning the Masters Golf Tournament in 2012 to coming in 50th the following year. The fact that he returned a year later to win it so decisively tells me that he must have looked at his loss as an opportunity to grow and learn. I'm new to the Marriott world and I'm thrilled to be part of a work environment that encourages me to make the most of every opportunity, every time and I'm striving to do just that. Thank you, Mr. Marriott.

I love that quote. Great blog (and photo)!

So true! in all aspects of our day to day life, business, relationships, education.......

Thank you Mr Marriott.Your words are an insiration to all the young leaders we have today who are starting to make their mark on the sucess of our company. They know that today we have 4000 hotels, but realsie that could be 8000 and are planning on how we will get there.

Like many of us, you continue to inspire me.

Best regards to you and Mrs Marriott on leading us to 4000 hotels.